Now, about THE KISS

There are many types of kisses. There are the innocent kiss of the child who expresses their love to their parent, the friendship cheek kiss, the movie on screen kiss, the passionate kiss, the French kiss and the kiss of love between a man and a woman.

President Kimball condemned the French kiss as “An abomination that stirs passions to the eventual loss of virtue. Even if timely courtship justifies the kiss it should be a clean, decent, sexless one.” Also, “Kissing has been prostituted and has degenerated to develop and express lust instead of affection, honor, and admiration. To kiss in casual dating is asking for trouble. What do kisses mean when given out like pretzels and robbed of sacredness?”

To me, the kiss is the expression of the soul. Therefore, I do my best to be careful as to who I share that with. If a kiss becomes deeper than just a gentle kiss, then somehow, hands begin to move into areas that they should not be. That is where we become burned by crossing lines that we should be careful of.

Think about this: If you kiss someone and your mind goes blank and all you are focused on is the kiss and the next one and the next one, and the feelings that they are bringing to light, how can you stop? I admit, I know this well. Yes, there are times that my mind goes blank and all that I have done my best to do-to stay good-begins to fly out the window. I have trusted the other person who is participating in the kiss to stay sane enough to stop. This is where, for all of us, hearts are open and trust is being challenged.

Instant physical gratification becomes a drive. We need to decide who is driving? Are our souls important enough to put on the breaks? Are we strong enough in ourselves to be able to kindly help our companion put on their breaks as well?

I heard of a couple who cherished the kiss so much that they did not kiss until they were across the altar in the Temple being sealed together. I have a friend who cherished the kiss enough to wait 40 years before she allowed a kiss on her lips. Yes, she dated before that time. She even was kissed, but she would always turn her head so that the kiss she received was on her cheek.

Ok, I will admit that I was not been strong enough to be like either the couple or my friend, but I find that I can forgive myself for my weakness and each day try to be a little bit better, a little bit stronger.

I am now able to be with someone who will share with me the gentle kiss of love and I wish that you may have the same desire and opportunity.

Moving mountains and those pesky grains of sand!

Ok, so I admit, I am much better at moving mountains in my life instead of focusing on the grains of sand! Ask me to help find a mate, background check them, introduce them, plan the wedding, move them I can do that. I have done that.

I spent a few years being a single adult representative. I had let go of looking for the quick-fix husband and instead, focused on becoming a good friend to those I associated with. I had many friends from all walks of life. I do not like games, so when I see a friend beginning to play them, I step in! I have gone to both the men and the women and told them about each other. I have had my fingers in many connections that got married. Most of them are still that way. When they announce the wedding date, I then pitch in and pull together weddings for a very low cost(remember, these are my friends and I had to consider this my hobby because I was not paid for most of them). I have even moved people in an efficient and quick manner!

I can start a business, run it and get it to run itself-without me.

But, when it comes to doing things like the dishes after every meal, or on a daily basis… maybe not going to happen.

I do my best to remember to get my visiting teaching done, but instead of actually visiting, I am emailing. Ok, so it is still a visit, but not the best! The results are great, though! My visit teachees actually do not mind because they are all so busy and are happy that I keep them up to date on activities going on and I do try to connect with them each time I see them.

My husband and I do read our scriptures daily together, but to do personal study, study for Sunday school, study for Relief Society, study for Young Women’s (I am the secretary, so it is good for me to be prepared to teach if I have to), and other studying, it may not happen…

When I really get my focus going, I can work my many jobs’ work schedules around each other nicely, but to get to the Temple on more than a monthly basis-not as easy…

So, what I see of myself is that I see the big picture of life, but sometimes my clothes may not match…

In the Temple

Learning Christlike love in a relationship can be done in the Temple. For many of us, we have been to the Temple. Many of us have been sealed. When we are there, we make promises to each other and to Heavenly Father. These covenants, if actually taken to heart (meaning we actually do them, not just talk about them), give us an opportunity to open ourselves to give and receive love on a much larger scale than if we did not go. In many marriage relationship classes that I have been to, there is one concept that I have tried my hardest to incorporate into my life.

Marriage takes 3 people. Myself, my husband and Heavenly Father. It is like a 3 legged stool. One can be shorter(weaker) than the others, but the other 2 keep the stool steady. The key is to keep all 3 legs to make the stool work. With Heavenly Father as a participant in our relationship, we are able to open our hearts and discuss things with kindness and love instead of accusations and self-interest.

Bruce R. McConkie said, “I am firmly convinced that it is possible for a man or a woman to love his or her companion abundantly more in this thing which is called the new and everlasting covenant of marriage than it is ever possible to love such an individual outside this order of marriage, because we are entitled to have, and we do have all of the normal and wholesome affection that does and should exist between the sexes and then in addition to that, we can have in our family the sanctifying influence of the love of Christ. We can have a love which is abiding and eternal and which never ceases and never ends but will grow and increase until the perfect day is attained.”

This is the pure love that we are working for. We have the ability to stand up for each other and to be there for when the trials come.  Elder Parley P. Pratt said this of Joseph Smith, “It was Joseph Smith who taught me how to prize the endearing relationships of father and mother, husband, wife; of brother and sister, son and daughter.

It was from him that I learned that the wife of my bosom might be secured to me for time and all eternity; and that the refined sympathies and affections which endeared us to each other emanated from the fountain of divine eternal love… I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved-with a pureness- an intensity of elevated exalted feeling.”

What a wonderful thought! Can we ever feel this way? The answer is Yes! Let us prepare ourselves to go to the Temple and learn how to love and to become a better person. Let us go to the Temple and encourage each other to do so. Many of us do not have recommends or have let them expire without using them. Some may have a recommend and have forgotten when they went last. Let us try to make an effort to go to the Temple. Why deny ourselves the blessings that we are entitled to?

Happiness is the object and design of our Existence

Joseph Smith said, “Happiness is the object and design of our Existence: and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God”. If that is the case, why then are so many of us unhappy? It is time to look within our hearts to see what is creating that unhappiness and change it! If we want to attract that special person into our lives, we need to make the changes that will do so. How can you find a happy person if you are not happy yourself? This is a day-by-day process. You cannot expect to change your heart overnight (it can happen, but takes a lot of faith and trust in our Heavenly Father-many of us are not ready to do that so quickly). So, like many of us, it is a series of choices each day. Ask yourself-“in doing this thing, will it make my life happier?” each time that you need to make a decision.In doing so, you will find that with each good choice, you will feel happier, you will have more energy and you will attract many of those who want to be happy as well.

President Spencer W. Kimball has counseled our youth “our young people should drive down stakes early, indicating their paths. The stakes are of two kinds: ‘This I will do’ and ‘This I will not do.’ These decisions pertain to general activities, standards, spiritual goals, and personal programs. They should include anticipations for marriage and family. Very early, youth should have been living by a plan…When such a course is charted and the goal is set, it is easier to resist the many temptations and to say ‘no’ to the first cigarette, ‘no’ to the first drink, ‘no’ to the car ride which will take one to the dark, lonely and hazardous places. ‘No’ to the first improper advances which lead eventually to immoral practices.”

We are never too old to make these same decisions. It is a hard thing to do, but with each other, we have the support and love of each other to help us to stick to our choices. Remember, we are going to activities for friendship, for support, for understanding. If a relationship happens that is good and leads to the Temple, it is a great bonus.

“Soul mates” are fiction and an illusion

President Spencer W Kimball stated: “Soul mates” are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate, with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price.”

Elder Dallin H Oaks stated:”I have heard of cases where a young man told a young woman she should marry him because he had received a revelation that she was to be his eternal companion. If this is a true revelation, it will be confirmed directly to the woman if she seeks to know. In the meantime, she is under no obligation to heed it…The man can receive revelation to guide his own actions, but he cannot properly receive revelation to direct hers. She is outside his stewardship.”

Of the first thought, I can see with my parents. Yes, they love each other, but at the ages of 21 and 16, they were very young when they married and had many difficulties that they faced that were hard. They are still married and they cannot see life any other way.

Personally I have received variations of the second thought. It gives me comfort to know that I have the ability to go to Heavenly Father directly to find out for myself if the choices I make are correct.

My marriage with Antwoin is a wonderful gift to me. We work at always communicating about everything. So much so, that when we are not working, we are always together and cannot see our lives any other way. Yes, going out with the “guys” and “girls” is fine, but we are such a part of each other, that it is easy to blend together. We do have things that we do like individually, but we can even blend that. One example is that he likes to fish and I am not fond of it. He does not drive yet and all of the lakes and ponds are a driving distance away. I drive him and I bring a book or a movie and kick back and enjoy what I enjoy at the same time as he is fishing. I cheer him on when he catches fish and he talks when he feels the need. It is a wonderful symbiotic relationship!

Another is that sometimes food choices are different. I find that when we cook together, if one does not like something, we always make sure that they have an alternate choice. There are no arguments and there are no hurt feelings. With this in mind, our lives work out quite well. Ok, so we may not be true “Soul Mates”, but we sure feel like it!

Always see life with joy and love, it really makes a difference!

Am I planning and am I preparing?

Spencer W. Kimball: “Now is the time for you to plan good strong marriages and organize your programs and set your standards and solidify your determination to prepare for that married period of your lives which will be beautiful and rewarding.”

This is where I begin to ask myself “Am I planning and am I preparing?”Galatians 6:7: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” I love this quote because it is so true! If I am happy, I draw people who are happy around me. I also am constantly working on healing my heart, so many I know come around me who are also trying to heal their hearts.

I am trying to grow, so many who either have gone the pathway I am trying to go or else are going my way, are willing to share the growing with me. This is the biggest reason that I work so hard to grow: Ezra Taft Benson said “If you desire a fine companion, you should be that kind of fine person for whom that companion would be looking.”

When I went through my first divorce, I had found that my spirit had been hurt deeply, that with being wounded so much, that I wanted to feel safe. I began to look for someone who could “Save” me. But with the guidance of a friend who lovingly taught me to love myself first, I changed my perspective and began praying for guidance so that I could be the best person that I could be for my future husband. The next step was to realize that instead of trying to be something for someone else or to believe that I would find a man who could hold me in his arms to shield me from the world, that I wanted someone to be by my side-to be willing to stand by me to face the world together.

I was one day in a thrift shop and found a quote that I still keep with me. “No human relation gives one possession in another-every two souls are absolutely different. In friendship or in love, the two side by side raise hands together to find what one cannot reach alone.” from Kahlil Gibran.

D&C 88:40 states: “For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own” If I am dishonest, if I am doing anything that is not correct in myself, then I am unable to expect better of my husband.

An assignment: Ask this of yourself: “What is the Law of Harvest?” and research it for yourself.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God” from Matthew 6:33.

I have dated many guys throughout my life and found that my church activities are very important to me. If they are not willing to go to church, the Temple or associate with my member friends, I feel a great loss.There would be an emptiness that is between us and I am not happy.

I know that I am very far from perfect and as one good friend pointed out to me recently: The church is like a hospital. We go quite frequently because we know that we need to have spiritual healing and this is the place to go for it. We have the opportunity to escape from the “Real World” and have a chance to find ways to heal our hearts. Even just going to church helps.

Another friend of mine had not been able to go to church because she did not have a ride and had to go home in the middle of it because she had to work. After finding out that this was the only difficulty, I offered to take her and her daughter to church but to get her home in time for work in the middle of church. After being at church the first week, the next week I asked her how her week was. She said that she noticed a big difference in just the way the week progressed. It was much better.

How does this affect the topic that I am addressing now? Well, most of us are looking for someone who has a spiritual focus. It is good to go out and play, to go to the dances, etc. But most of the ones going to the firesides are working on their hearts. If you have a Temple Recommend and find someone else who has one who uses it quite frequently, Bonus Points! Now, if you notice, I did not say that the other person just has one. But the focus is that they use it. And Frequently.

What about ourselves? Are we using our Recommends? Have we had to replace our covers because we wear them out? Have we been there frequently enough that the workers in the Temple know us by name?

There is a gentleman who was in a motorcycle accident many years ago. He finds that with his handicap, the only thing that he can do that creates service is to go to the Temple and spend each day there-all day long, doing sessions. I am not saying that we need to do as he does, but have you met him? Do you know his name? I had him as a neighbor for a short time and enjoy the spark that he has for his wife. He has a very sharp mind; he just has a difficult time getting the words out easily of what he thinks about.

I have another friend who prepares himself before he goes to the Temple so that he can bear his testimony to the person he is doing the work for. I truly admire that focus.

The word that we are describing and looking at is “Spirituality”.President David O. McKay defines spirituality as, the “Consciousness of victory over self, and of communion with the Infinite.” Really take the time to think over this statement. It is very deep and can change a life.

Remember, though, there are many people who go through the actions, but do not put it in their hearts. I remember doing this quite a number of years ago. I went to church, but did not try to learn anything. I was doing my part just being there-or so I thought. I read my scriptures, but did not contemplate what they were really saying to me. I went to the Temple, but did not seek for deeper understanding. The spark was there, but it was quite dim. I was just “Going through the motions.”

I had to make a decision to change. I had to begin to seek for the good in each meeting I attended. I began to look for messages in the scriptures that I was reading that I could apply into my life. I began to look for the spark in my heart and encourage it to grow. I began to make changes in my life by small decisions. Should I go to my meetings or skip them for a movie? Should I go to the Temple or spend time eating out with a friend? Many of these decisions are good and it became hard to choose which was better. I began to listen to my heart which showed me which brought more light into my life. Yes, sometimes being with a friend is more important than going to the Temple. This is where praying on my knees, listening while praying and focusing becomes important.

My recent favorite quote is this, “When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims of our affection, the demands of our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.” Ezra Taft Benson.The interesting thing is that this is very true. Many things that I felt were very important dropped out of my life because they were not items that should not have been important to me.

Lastly, Howard W. Hunter said, “Developing spirituality and attuning ourselves to the highest influences of godliness is not an easy matter. It takes time and frequently involves a struggle. It will not happen by chance, but is accomplished only through deliberate effort and by calling upon God and Keeping his commandments.”

We are in this together. As states in one of the movies that I actually have enjoyed, “Never give up, never surrender.”