Lifestyle Support for Healthier Living
Best Weight-Loss Program
A recent exchange of letters between my missionary son and his sister Juli reminded me of the love, life, light, and the power by which we enjoy every heart beat of our lives and by which we breathe from one moment to the next and the purpose for which we are granted every breath we take.
Although this exchange is personal, I want to share it by way of introduction to a program and journal I have been working on for quite some time. Years ago I was told in prayer that the Lord was seeking to help me establish the best weight-loss program in the world.
This was too much for my little mind to wrap around. Nor do I have ego sufficient to believe I could ever create something on par with Weight Watchers or any of the other weight-loss behemoths that grace this particular industry. For years I sought to determine what the best program would be that He was seeking to help me establish. I studied the sciences so carefully; however, while my understanding has greatly increased in this subject, I remain weak and have often felt that for all my efforts I had utterly failed in what the Lord was seeking to help me accomplish.
It seemed impossible to me that I could establish the best weight-loss program in the world, until I at last came to know what his definition of best is. It is coming to know His word on the subject and then how to best apply it to each of us individually, through a process whereby through our exercise of agency we enable Him as our Master, guru, and guide.
Also, all the best things in life are truly free. God's nature is such that all that we need is given to us as we align ourselves with him. Before I introduce this new publication and support system to you -- which is the best support system in the world, I want to share the exchange of letters between a son and daughter, which set the stage properly.
From Brother James to Sister Juli:
I am currently sitting in a dusty old family history center in the middle of nowhere Texas, (which I absolutely love), and I must say that I have been very touched by the Sweet spirit I felt as I read your blog update about Rocco's Doctor appointment. As my companion and I read, (and after we wiped our moistened eyes), I felt reminded of many of the questions of the Soul that I have had recently with regard to the Atonement of our Lord, and I wanted to share an experience I had this week with you as I was street contacting.
We were walking through an apartment complex full of people that all seemed to have a multitude of problems, sins, addictions etc., and I was having a hard time feeling love for many of the people there as they shouted vulgar, profain, and blasphemous things at and about us. Every heart seemed hardened against us and it was costing me all the will power I had not to lose my temper and just leave that complex.
My companion and I had felt that there was someone there that needed to hear from us, and so I just tried to stay focussed on that spiritual confirmation that I got before coming telling me that we needed to be there. After being rejected and ridiculed for the umphteenth time I noticed a man sitting on the sidewalk drinking that we had some how missed coming in. His car had blocked him from view, but looking back we could see the top of his head.
We went over and talked to him. His name is Tommy. As we talked to him he told us of the deep pain that he felt at his mother's death and about how he couldn't understand why God would take a good woman like her home and leave all the drug dealers, rapists, and so forth alive. We began to explain the plan of Salvation and then he stopped us. He looked at us and said, "Is yo mama dead? Is yo mama dead? Don't try to tell me that you know what I'm feelin if yo mama aint dead, cause ya'll don't know!"
I could see and feel the bitterness that he felt and my heart hurt for him. I assured him, "you're right Tommy, I don't know what it feels like to have my mother die. I am not going to pretend that I do becuase I don't. But I do have a brother that died. He was a Great man. He did everything right. He loved everyone and never made any mistakes. He spent his life serving God and other people never once took thought for himself. It was those same people that he spent his life serving that took him, and beat him nearly to death with both their hands and a scourging whip. He was mocked and spat upon and falsely accused of wrongs that he didn't do, and then he was nailed upon a cross. I love my older brother Jesus Christ, and Tommy he loves you. Before he was crucified he took upon himself not only your sins, but the pain you feel in your heart RIGHT NOW! He has experienced EXACTLY what you are feeling and stands with his arms open ready to give you relief, if only you will come unto him."
Tommy started to cry and told us that he believed what we said was true. We will be going to teach him about the Restored plan of Salvation this week and he will find peace through the Atonement of Jesus Christ as he prepares to be baptized. I am out of time but I love you Juli. Thank you for your updates.
From Sister Juli to Brother James:
Rocco had a doctor's appointment recently. He needed to get shots. The paper I had been given said he would be getting 4 shots. So, before the nurse brought in all her gear I talked it over with Rocco so he'd be prepared and not so freaked out by the needles when the nurse came back. I told Rocco that he would be getting 4 shots because he was 4 years old. I said he needed to try really hard to be brave and try to not cry in front of ZeeZee so that he could show her how to be brave when she gets her shots. He was really scared but he said he'd be brave so she wouldn't be scared when it was her turn.
When the nurse came back she had 5 needles, not 4. Turns out he was getting 4 shots and a TB test. Rocco quickly counted the long needles and said "There are 4 shots for me cuz I'm 4 years old and one for ZeeZee cuz she is just 1 year old." I didn't say anything. I was hoping he wouldn't notice how many shots she put in his leg and would just think that the number 5 shot was only the number 4 shot. Does that makes sense?
Well, it doesn't matter what I was hoping, because he did notice. He held my hands and he cried and he screamed! Then he saw Zeegan's scared face (she was scared for her "Gocco"), and he started to be as quiet as he could and he bit his lip and he had silent tears streaming down his small face as the nurse put one huge shot after another into his tiny little legs. It was so hard to see him in so much pain, I wanted to cry right along with him. Shots are the worst part of being a parent.
When the nurse finished with the leg shots she let him take a minute to catch his breath. Rocco looked at that one remaining needle in the basket and did the sweetest thing any big brother could ever do. He whimpered to me "Mommy, that shot will really hurt ZeeZee. I don't want her to hurt. I will have her shot instead."
Even as I'm retelling this story I am crying. It was one of the most wonderful moments of my life as a mother. Rocco had just experienced so much pain he was screaming, and then he offered to do it again so his baby sister wouldn't have to. He was willing to experience that agony for Zeegan. Zeegan! The one who teases him mercilessly at home. The one who steals his beloved batman toys all the time. ZeeZee, the one who bullies him like no little sister can! (Don't read this wrong; ZeeZee is my little princess and she loves her big brother like CRAZY!!!, she's just a bit of a rascal and knows exactly what buttons to push to get the biggest reactions from Rocco...). He was willing to take that shot for her.
I'm not sure why, but this experience got me to thinking about the atonement. I've always known Jesus is my older brother. I've always known him taking on our sins was painful. But I just never thought about it in depth I guess, or maybe I've just always thought that since he was doing such a great thing for all of us it wasn't so horrible for him? Or maybe I was thinking it wasn't so bad for him because he was only half mortal? I'm not sure what I always thought about it. To be honest, I'm not sure if I ever though about the pain part of Jesus' sacrifice. But you know, now that I've thought about it, I realize it WAS so horrible. After seeing my little Rocco in all his fear make his sacrifice, I couldn't help but wonder; Was he terrified? Was it such a hard decision that he whimpered? I'm sure it was more awful than I've ever spent time thinking about. Maybe he did whimper, maybe he was even crying from fear? We know that he threw himself on the ground in the garden of Gethsemane and begged the Father that if was possible, if there was any other way to save us, please let the cup pass from him.
And after realizing that it really was such an awful experience for Him, I couldn't help but wonder; why? Why did He do it for me? Why did He do it for everyone? Don't get me wrong, there are definitely some people out there that are wonderful enough that I can see Him being willing to die for them. But why me? Why would I, and Why did I matter to Him? I can be a really terrible and awful person sometimes!!! Ya know?
But I think I finally understand. I think he loves me no matter what. Because he's my older brother. And I'm sure that's not the only reason, but I bet it was reason enough. And I am so grateful... And I am so grateful I have such a sweet and wonderful little boy for my son! I don't know how or why I was blessed with such an amazing little man, but I am so thankful I was. I'm so glad I got to witness such a beautiful showing of his love for his sister, and that I was able to learn what I did to from that experience.
From Colleen and I to Each of You
I have spent many months researching, writing, and praying about how to apply the promises of the gospel to matters of health. Colleen has listened to and helped me to better understand this topic as well, as have some other close family and friends.
The Word of Wisdom teaches us to avoid harmful substances; it also teaches us the Lord's dietary health code. But perhaps most important instruction given in the Word of Wisdom and the most overlooked is that as we avoid harmful substances and keep his dietary health code, and as we keep all God's other commandments, we will become the beneficiaries of His extraordinary promises of health, strength, endurance, wisdom, and knowledge. The knowledge referred to therein is redeeming knowledge that will distill upon your soul as the dews from heaven as you do all three of these things.
Recently, I have met and consulted with several individuals who have not been able to put poor health into remission, even after doing the first two things mentioned above, until they at last came to terms with the spiritual requirements of the Word of Wisdom. Each of us suffers from various traditions of darkness, and only as you discover how to awake to your own darkness, forsake it, and walk more fully into God's perfect light can you lay hold upon the full promises of the Word of Wisdom. I know this to be true. The following document and journal has been prepared to help you do just this. You are free to take this to any local printer and have it printed and bound for your use:
I just finished reading The Robe of His Righteousness. Thank you for this inspirational article. A group of friends have been meeting and going through the Church's Recovery Program for overeaters. Your article and journal fits so beautifully (along with some of the great talks given this weekend during conference) that I will share it with the group and I intend to print it out and use it for my personal use.
I want to tell you that I so appreciate your website, the many wonderful tips, recipes and educational information on healthy eating. You all definitely inspire me on my path to becoming a healthy, strong and righteous daughter of our Heavenly Father. May God bless your continued efforts. Carol
Thank you Carol; Colleen and I appreciate hearing about what you and your friends are doing and hope this publication might be helpful in some way. It is difficult for me as a writer to share as I struggle to master the very truths I write about. I'm all too aware of my weaknesses and it is so much easier to remain silent.
Colleen, who has read and re-read this booklet as it has taken shape, also noted that it aligns with many of the talks that were given during General Conference. I recognized during Conference that imperfect people are required to do their best and to obey the Spirit in all things, in spite of their weaknesses. Anyway, this project began when a son wanted to better understand D&C 93:1 as well as the laws of holiness. I wrote him 27 letters on these topics and then condensed much of that into this booklet. The rest of what I've written to him is being integrated into a children's book about the forgotten ways of Zion. I will turn much of my attention to the children's book in the near term, as it is my children's and grandchildren's favorite book ever.