I have been thinking about Bri and the Blackwelders this week too, and I read this quote that gave me comfort and applies to that tragedy about the little boy which is so heart breaking…i will pray for that family and for the lewis’.

here’s the quote: “i believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. we are not separate from them…we are closely related to our kindred…who have preceded us into the spirit world. we cannot forget them. we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we cannot break…those who have been faithful, who have gone beyond…can see us better than we can see them….they see us, they are solicitors for our welfare, they love us now more than ever…their love for us and their desire for our well-being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves.” -Joseph F. Smith.
this week has been great and has has a special emphasis on fasting–we taught about fasting twice this week and fasted yesterday, and my understanding and appreciation for this divine law has grown so much. We have seen so many miracles in our family from fasting. I remember the first time I really fasted, and understood what it meant, was when i fasted for Eliza Brian. I remember feeling so much closer to God and for the first time, I wasn’t daydreaming about food. I was focused, and pictured that precious girl and her family in my mind. I love you Brian family! I remember fasting as a seminary class for Devyn Gibby…and years of fasting brought a miracle in our own family. And that’s why I love in Alma 5 when Alma says that he learned the truth of all these things through fasting and prayer for many days. I always point that out to those I teach: many days. sometimes it takes time. Sometimes many days and sometimes many years. But as we pray and fast we are showing the Lord that we trust Him…and that we rely on Him. I love in Mosiah 2:20-22 when King Benjamin reminds us that God has given us everything–he lends us breath. And ALL He asks of us is to keep His commandments. Fasting is a commandment that is taught in the Old Testament and in the New. Christ himself fasted after He was baptized and He taught about fasting in the Sermon on the Mount. But a lot of people don’t understand what it is, and why it is. Easter is this Sunday in Russia and so this week the orthodox russians are fasting but for them it means to give up certain dairy products and other requirements…but when we teach people about fasting, they are very surprised when we explain all that it entails. But Isiah 58 pretty much outlines it. It says that you have to fast with purpose, and it’s not supposed to be a burden or inconvenience or trial–it’s a blessing. It says that fasting is connected with providing for and serving the poor. And it says that when we fast, we call upon the Lord and He hears us. We see miracles and are blessed beyond measure.
I feel so weak physically when I fast, I can hardly walk up a flight of stairs. And yet, i feel so strong spiritually. I always feel closest to God and receive more revelation than ever before when i fast. I learn so much more in Sacrament meeting and in Sunday School and Relief Society. I’m so grateful that we fast, and that we understand why we fast and the blessings from it because truly I look forward to each fast Sunday (and next Sunday is fast Sunday!! woohoo!) and am so grateful that anytime I feel like I need extra help, extra comfort or wisdom, I can turn to the Lord through fasting.
I love you all and hope you have a great week and a great fast Sunday!
Happy Russian Easter!