Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I am having a most joyous year and all I want to do is share it! I'm not really sure what's changed this year, possibly me?
I woke up this morning with the light of the sun kissing my face before I even opened my eyes.
I smiled, "Thank You, Lord for this beautiful day I'm about to begin" before I opened my eyes and rolled outta bed this morning.

Here it is some 12-13 hours later and I'm still smiling. I laughed out loud several times today and so did some of those around me. There were moments here and there of frustration throughout the work day, but nothing, not one thing that was negative enough to bring me down. If one day can be this way, why not two? And if two, why not four, or a week, and so on? I'm learning more and more the way we allow things to effect us tells others more about us than quite possibly anything else. How we react to truths about ourselves, consequences to our own actions, and what challenges we're willing to step up and meet, it says more about us than we realize.

I wonder, how much better the world and our lives would be if we took the time to focus on our faults, instead of the faults of those around us? And if you find you don't have many faults, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM, NOT EVERYONE ELSE. (haha) When we are truly willing to stand in front ourselves in our nekkid truth and see who we really are and what we've become and work towards a desire to become more in the Image of God... only then are we ready for the Lord's tender mercies and blessings.
For some it is easy to come unto Christ. They simply say they accept him into their lives as Lord and Savior and they're done, on their merry way. Accepting him is so much more than stating it. When every aspect of your life leads to him, God the Father and in his son Jesus Christ, then you have accepted him into your life.
Open your closets and your secret places and invite him in. The awesome thing about Jesus, he will meet you where you are. But you have to call and let him know where you are. Oh, he knows. FO SHO he knows. But he needs to know that YOU know.
In having a conversation a while back with someone I care dearly about, he mentioned to me that God has not revealed certain things to him. So I said to him "Did you ask God to reveal?" To which he replied "God has revealed things to me all my life, I'm sure if this were true he would have revealed it to me."

I pray I never get so lazy and ambitionless that I just expect the Lord to come to me and let me know. The scriptures say:
ASK and ye shall recieve
SEEK and ye shall find
KNOCK and it shall be opened unto you

Ask Seek Knock (A.S.K)

We have a responsibility and an obligation to seek out all that The Lord has for us. How sad will be the day of Judgement when we are shown all the knowledge and blessings we don't have simply be cause we were too lazy to ask? And what does it say about us to actually BE too lazy to ask?

I'm searching the scriptures to see where it say: You just chill over there in your laziness and ungodliness and forget about me and I'll be right over to give you all the blessings I have for you.
SIGN ME UP! Ok don't. I rather enjoy searching the scriptures and learning about the Word and how to apply it to my life and share it with others.
I also like the different depths of the Gospel and how they are revealed to us AS WE ARE READY for them.

I'm so grateful for the Joy that is all around me.
I'm thankful for:
Raggedy Ann--Das mah Gurl!
The sun
The snow
Snowing days with the sun shining ;)
My Job
My New Co-workers
My Former Co-workers
The Cleanliness of my home
My Home
My transportation
Pen Pals
Human Touch
Human Voice
Cozy and intimate evenings with people I care about.
The love of people and the love for people
How the love of and for people comes back to me
Not knowing loneliness
Natural highs
Lack of control, knowing God is in charge most of the time
The ability to trust and believe in others
Ambitious People
Those who share their lives and not just take from yours
the ability to take responsibility and not blame others.
Reality slaps
Friends who let me know when I'm outta line. *it is impossible to never be outta line* so if your friends support you in your wrongness, you need new friends*

My Family Reunion this summer!

Fried Chicken wing and hot sauce

Melons... all kinds
Cheese...all kinds.

Puppies that crawl all over you and wanna play even when you dont wanna play
Toilet paper ( you may laugh right now, but when you need it, it aint so funny)
Today I'm even grateful for spiders. I'm arachnophobic. I'm sure God made them for a reason though so who am I to question?

The desire to worship. Some folks dont even have the desire anymore, nor do they do it. They might say a blessing on their food.. when folks or family is around. Praise the Lord for that.

Clean and wholesome entertainment: movies, music, tv.

Seriously I could go on and on and on and on.

I'm starting something this week that will be a monthly thing for the rest of the year. The last week of each month I will dedicate my prayers to my friends and family in need. Praying for Specific people with specific needs. No more "bless my friends." I will call them by name to the Father. I encourage everyone to consider it. Prayer works. Prayer open and soften hearts. Prayer Changes lives.

I also think we don't count our blessings as often as we should. And if you can't find any to count or feel they're too few, what are you doing to be worthy of them?

So tell me folks, what are you grateful for?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Black History Month....

For Valentine's Day

How cool is it that in the middle of Black History Month is the national celebration of love,Love,LOVE!

The above photo are some of the typical symbols and tokens of this international day of love we call Valentine's Day:
The Flowers
The 2 rings
The Chocolate
The Goblet of Celebratory Drink (Ginger Ale in my world)

People across the country received one or more of these tokens from their loved ones.
Some received,cards or phone calls, soft words of kindness and love, a song dedication, a hug, kiss and a night of lustful passion.

And some received none of the above.
Or so they think.

Typically the single person dreads Valentine's Day aka Single Awareness Day. Single women every where gathered in gaggles of "girl's night out" had dinner, watched "He's Just Not That Into You" and then went to the club or bar to go dancing and undoubtedly sang karaoke to "I WILL SURVIVE" by Gloria Gaynor.
Packs of men either hit the club with a bet of who can come home with the most phone numbers or not come home at all. Or flipped through their phone numbers to see which lonely girl or ex they truly have no emotional interest in is available for a night of only physical passion.

Don't trip folks, I'm just keepin it real. This is the world we live in today.

I'm now one of those single women. But I had the most extraordinary experiences yesterday. I woke up with a smile on my face. My excitement for the day I could hardly contain it. I took me a while to realize where it was coming from and why.

So much love was water falling into my heart and flooding over. I was so overcome I thank the Lord and asked him why it was happening and where it was coming from. He simply whispered to me
"this is the love you share with others coming back to bless you this day"

I could feel it! I had so much of it and my heart was flooding it back out to those I love and care about.
I had felt love of this magnitude a few times before, usually after some major interruption or life changing disturbance.
Sometimes we make the mistake of assuming those we love will return that same love. The love we share with others does come back to us. It is often not from the source or person to which WE give. It should be. Morally and ethically it should be. But we live in a world that is ever losing it's morals and ethics.

This overwhelming feeling of love I received was so wonderful I asked the Lord to bless everyone I loved with it. I wanted everyone to feel the joy and elation of it.
I believe the love we give comes back to us. I believe it is only the true love, not to be mistaken for lust, or selfish manipulations of giving to make ourselves look and feel good. The beauty of giving true love is that Heavenly Father can sort out the real stuff from the manipulator's stuff and make the reciprocation of it happen.

For Valentine's Day I danced and sang and appreciated the flowers and chocolates that came to my home. I enjoyed a nice dinner and a glass of ginger ale. I laughed and squealed with delight at some of the everyday joys. I talked to many of my friends and enjoyed our conversations.

OH, I spent most of the day home alone. I don't think I could have felt more loved than if I were in a room full of friends and family, or in the arms of a man promising to love and take care of me forever.

Today I sit with a smile on my face still in awe of the wonderful love and peace I feel. I feel as if I'm on the road to happiness. My life is good. It is filled AND fulfilling. And that makes Valentine's Day pretty much everyday.

Don't get so caught up in the commercialism of love and romance that we forget to have these things on a daily basis.

To my single friends and family who are aching for that love and care from another person. It can be full filled inside of yourself by the true love you give to others.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19

"Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work." 2 Thessalonians 2:16

I believe part of experiencing true full filling love has very much to do with some of the things the Lord has asked of us:

John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Leviticus 19:34 "But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself..."

Heavenly Father expects us to take care and love one another. He put us her to interact with one another

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone’ Genesis 2:18

Have you ever noticed in the creations days of the bible after God created something he said "and it was good?" Except when he made Adam? He noticed that it was not good for their to be JUST Adam so what did he do next? He created Eve to complete him.. and THEN "it was very good."

I don't want to turn this into a "Man should not be alone he needs a woman..." blog.
I simply use this to illustrate that we humans need each other.
We were created to mainly interact with each other. It is unnatural for us to prefer to be alone with our things.

This is why I believe the love we put out in the world by sharing with each other comes back to us in overwhelming floods at those times when we need it the most. And it comes mostly for our God on high who who understands our most strongest desires. Who is aware of our most ugliest and hidden secrets. Who knows our every need. And who loves us regardless and in spite of ourselves.

Through Jesus Christ we have the perfect model of what a Valentine should be. It's not limited to boyfriends or girlfriends as we of the world have limited it. It is expanded to friends, family,coworkers, the cute man at the drive in at Burger Supreme who gives me and wink and a winning smile each time I go. It's expanded to the homeless man begging for change at the grocery store. It's extended to the lonely guy at home on his computer looking for love in all the wrong places. It's available for the nice quiet girl who stayed home depressed watching chick flicks who never had a boyfriend and there is no rhyme or reason why.

Next year when this day comes around I hope we will all take the time to remember EVERYONE deserves to be loved and appreciated. And may we be the cupid who can bring them at the very least the Love of God.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mo Black LDS History

Elder Elijah Abel

Meet Elder Elijah Abel. Elder Elijah was one of the first black man to recieve the priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was also what we call a General Authority,ordained as a Seventy and was very close with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his family.
In his patriarchal blessing, given to him by the Patriarch Joseph Smith Sr. He was told he would be a welding link between the black and the white, the past and the future. His posterity was blessed to not be witheld the priesthood. He had a son and a Grandson ordained to the Priesthood in the early 1900's.

He served missions in Canada twice, Ohio, New York and other Eastern United States.

Elijah Abel stayed a faithful member of the Church until the day he died. When I personally think of the hardships of the saints, particularly the black saints I get angered by those who are easily offended because they're released from a calling they like, or someone didn't really like or agree with how a lesson was presented, or they didn't get called to a position they felt they were worthy and deserving of.
There were members of the church who wanted 10, 12, 15 years to be baptized and to have the blessings of the temple and waited. And although they were unable to have all the blessings at the time, they remained worthy of them. I value and honor their committment and dedication. Some people's committment is as strong as an enjoyable calling. Or a strong as the 11:00 am time block. We could really learn faith, endurance, and the true meaning of being a member of the church from the black saints. I love how they knew the gospel, and didn't let the things "unrelated" to their salvation get in their way.
I guess they didn't let religion get in the way of their salvation.

I'm pleased at their example. They not only went through all the persecution of the early pioneer saints,they did it always with the fear of being returned to slavery. Add the pioneer persecution with the ethnic/race persecution. And yet they remained strong. They stayed. They paved the way. I would face them with shame if I quit because of some minute infraction that doesn't even matter in the long run.
I thank God for their example and strength.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Welcome To Black History Month

I was a member for years before I knew about Black LDS Pioneers. When I learned about them so many emotions came rushing forth. I was upset their history was so hidden and unknown from us as members and non members. So for February I would like to share some of the History of our Black LDS Pioneers. I know it strengthens me to hear their stories and reminds me that as always, somebody paved the way. No matter how difficult I may think it is putting up with crap that shouldn't have to be delt with, someone else paved the way so my wade through the crap isn't as deep as it could be.

I'm going to Introduce you to 3 fine men:
Green Flake
Oscar Crosby
Hark Lay

Green Flake:
Green Flake was born in Anson County, North Carolina, ca. 1828. In 1841 he traveled with his owners, James Madison and Agnes Love Flake, to Kemper County, Mississippi, where the family cleared land for a farm. During the winter of 1843-44 Madison, as he was called, and Agnes were baptized as members of the Mormon church and so was their servant Green. When the Flakes decided to join the main body of the church in Nauvoo, Green accompanied them. For a time he served as a bodyguard for Joseph Smith.

Oscar Crosby:

Oscar Crosby, was the older brother of Hark Lay but was owned by William Crosby, a wealthy landowner in Mississippi. Oscar was baptized a Mormon shortly after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. He also built a house for his master's family in Holiday. When William Crosby's family was asked to settle San Bernardino, Oscar went along. California did not permit slavery and Oscar was given his freedom. Oscar did not return to Utah in 1857 with the other Mormons at the outbreak of the Utah War.

Hark Lay:
Hark Lay, was a black slave who traveled from Mississippi with John Brown to Winter Quarters to assist the "Pioneer" company, in 1847. (John Brown had guided the Mississippi Saints to Ft. Laramie and Pueblo, Colorado, in 1846. Returning to Mississippi to collect his family, he was asked to go to Winter Quarters and help the Pioneer company. He took 4 Blacks with him, two of whom died before reaching Winter Quarters.) John Brown had baptized Hark's owner, William Lay. Hark stayed in Salt Lake City that first winter and built a log house for the Lay family to occupy when they came in 1848. He was given his freedom. He never joined the Mormon faith. He married and settled in the small settlement of Union (Salt Lake Valley).

Brigham Young organized the pioneer company in the spring of 1847
As he and this company set out in search of "Zion" or a place far away in the west, Brigham Young became ill. As they were nearing the current Wyoming/Utah border an advances scout party was sent to go ahead of the ailing Brigham Young. Green Flake--as well as Hark Lay and Oscar Crosby--joined that advance party. Their goal was to find the easiest way for the main company of wagons to travel.

This company traveled down Echo Canyon, around Little Mountain, and through Emigration Canyon. They used shovels, axes, and other tools to create a passable road for the main body of wagons to follow. They were the first Wagon train to discover the Salt Lake Valley.

In the middle of Temple Square there is a Brigham Young Monument

On the back of this is a listing of all the names of those in that first pioneer company to come into the Salt Lake Valley. On the south plaque you would read the following: In Honor of Brigham Young and the Pioneers
It would then go on to list: The entire company and outfit consisting of of 143 men, 3 women, 2 children, 70 wagons, 1 boat, 1 cannon, 93 horses, 52 mules, 66 oxen, 19 cows.
Among the 143 men in a seperate section you would see the following: " (Colored Servants)*Green Flake *Green Flake (colored servants) William Carter Hark Lay Franklin Losee Oscar Crosby Datus William Carter Hark Lay Franklin Losee Oscar Crosby Datus "

Green and Martha Flake were active members of the LDS ward in Union. In addition to tithing, he made donations to building funds for the Union Ward and the Salt Lake Temple. He was a good neighbor by all accounts, extending a helping hand without being asked. He was also noted for his fine singing voice. Some accounts claim that Green maintained the friendly relationship with Brigham Young that began on the overland trek and that when the pioneer leader died in 1877 Green helped to dig his grave.

Although children of African American descent could and did attend school alongside whites in Utah, territorial law prohibited blacks from voting and from serving on juries and in the legislature until the "free, white" qualification was deleted on February 5, 1868. The 1870 census shows four black children attending school in Union. Some half-dozen black families lived in the area, and Green Flake seems to have been the leading figure among them.

Sometime after his wife's death in 1885, Green moved to Idaho to live with his son Abraham, until his own death on October 20, 1903. Both Martha and Green Flake are buried in the Union Cemetery.**

Oscar Crosby, born in Virginia ca. 1815, left Utah in the early 1850s with William Crosby, his owner, who was headed for the Mormon settlement at San Bernardino, California. Since California was a free state, Oscar could have claimed his freedom upon arrival there. He died in Los Angeles in 1870.**

Hark Lay, the slave of William Lay, lived in Salt Lake Valley for many years and was married to a slave owned by either George or John Bankhead. William Lay was planning to move to San Bernardino and did not have the funds to purchase Hark's wife. He attempted to find other solutions to the problem, but the record is unclear as to whether or not the couple were able to avoid separation.**

It's kind of funny how some of the very first inhabitants of Utah were black and there's such a poor showing of that now. Although it's so much better than it was 20 years ago. I can remember going into the stores and requesting certain hair care products and foods. Now with the ever increasing ethnic population of Utah it's just as easy to find most of what I want and need as it would be in my home town in Michigan.
When I first got to Utah I really didn't care for "Pioneer Day" or the statehood celebration of the pioneer history. People would go on and on about it and would be tracing their ancestors back to crossing over on some boat from England or Norway or whatever and making the trek into the Salt Lake Valley. My reaction to them would be
"Hell, at least they were free to walk. They were free to walk over, through or around whatever plantation or land they wanted without being hunted, chased, whipped or hanged for it. My ancestors, not so lucky"

(excuse my Golden J Kimball moment ;)

Of course if you know the history of LDS pioneers and the persecution they suffered, it could somewhat parallel that of the slaves. Persecution is persecution, period. no matter if you are being attacked for race, gender, religion, social, economical, physical bias. Persecution destroys not only people but US as a society.

I was sharing these thoughts with my mom about 10 years ago and she said...
"how is it that you can be so cold hearted against the pioneers when you are a pioneer?"
I didn't know what she meant. She went on to explain that
"in the latter days not too many black folks who were members of the church before 1978 will be around."
Our family joined in 1973 when I was 5 years old. Having been a member, a black member that long, and living the history before the Priesthood was restored to black men. (and yes I said Restored because there are those who were granted it back in our LDS history.)
"You are paving the way for your family and all you come in contact with in the church. There will be those who look to you for strength, courage, faith and endurance. You, my dear, are a Pioneer. A Black Mormon Pioneer."
I wasn't interested in that title and repsonsibility at the time but I gladly accept it and appreciste it now. I am a Pioneer. If you think about the generations to come that will be reading about your lives and history and the choices you've made you, too, are pioneers. I just happen to be a Black
LDS Pioneer. :)

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments
Hand in Hand


I earned some temporary wings!