Thursday, October 14, 2021
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Learning about the Book of Mormon is fascinating. Not only is this book a scriptural wonder that will bring us closer to Jesus Christ more than any book in the world, we also learn about the Promised Land as we read from 1st Nephi until the very end of Moroni. This promised land is believed to be the United States and with the evidences found so far, our promised land needs the prayers of the righteous to keep us from the enemy.
|Above photo from|
Some people might not understand why the search for the actual places of the Book of Mormon is so important. Yes, we have our own spiritual conversion to the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ but if we think about how we felt when we visit the Sacred Grove in New York state, Nauvoo, Illinois where Joseph Smith lived and is buried or Adam-ondi-Ahman in Springhill, Missouri, then maybe we can understand why this search and study is important for all those who know The Book of Mormon to be true. When we visit these sacred places, we feel strengthened in our testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that is what visiting these places in the United States does for me: it strengthens my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
Sunday, February 7, 2021
Today in Sacrament meeting we finally were able to sing the hymns. I was so excited, as I have terribly missed singing in church. The opening song was Redeemer of Israel. (one of my favorite) We got to the third verse where is says, “our foes have rejoiced, when our sorrows they’ve seen” and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. We see these foes every day on the news, radio and internet. There are such foes who rejoice in our difficulties. Even causing more difficulties to their benefit, but the next line was of great comfort to me: “but Israel will shortly be free”.
We will be free, but during the time we live in bondage can be very difficult. Sometimes if feels that there is no end in sight, but we continue to pray, move forward in life and be thankful for what we have. We can all receive our personal messages from God to comfort us as some call it: personal revelation. This personal revelation helps us to make good choices when those difficult times are around us. (It even helps when there are no difficult times.)
These messages can come in many different forms such as an email, a phone call from a loved one, at work or talking to a neighbor. Part of this particular message came from Lin Wood, the famous attorney from Georgia. I edited it to fit my needs.
What can we do to help ourselves to not worry so much during this difficult time?
1. 1. Pray, Pray, Pray.
2. 2. Protect ourselves, our families and our friends whether it’s in the neighborhood, at school or at family gatherings.
3. 3. Write members of the military and tell them you love the fact that they will never dishonor their oath to defend the Constitution, freedom and the People
4. 4. Turn off your television. Do NOT watch any mainstream media, movies, comedies, game shows or other meaningful mind junk. (We have stopped watching the news. It’s just too depressing.)
5. 5. Read books that are inspiring and helps to uplift us as human beings. (Including the Bible, Book of Mormon or any other uplifting scripture.)
6. 6. Organize your communities and neighborhoods for safety. Talk to leaders of your congregations at church, synagogues or mosques.
7. 7. And above all: Love all and forgive all, but always demand justice and righteousness.
8. Yes, Israel will be free and we will eventually live peaceably, but this Sunday afternoon, I have to keep the thoughts from above in my heart and move forward on in life.
Saturday, January 2, 2021
In my own experience, I have been taught from my parents who discovered the truth about the current events in the U.S. during the 1960s and what was really going on. Although I didn’t believe it then, I do now after doing my own study. The United Nations was not a good fit for the United States in 1945 but joined then which now has its consequences. The act of removing prayer from public schools from the likes of Madalyn O’Hair has haunted public schools since this decision. Taking the Ten Commandments away from public buildings, the removing of religion during Christmas and Easter are all the tell tale signs of losing our freedoms. There are conspiring men in secret societies that want to make a one world order to take our freedoms away completely. When will the people of the U.S. wake up and demand we cut ties with China (specifically the Chinese Communist Party). We would be on better ground because according the goal of China by 2030 the goal of private property or ownership of personal items anywhere will be gone.
It’s not too late. Call, write emails or mail snail mail to your state and national leaders. Tell them that you want the U.S. Constitution to reign supreme in this great country. Study those truths so we can never live a lie.
This is a fight; a fight for freedom as we know it!! Do we want a new normal? No! Do we want others to control every aspect of our lives? No!! We want honest and true elections without corruption. We want our livelihood and our leisure with our families saved from corruption and control. We are the people of the United States. Our forefathers fought the King of England for independence. Our families fought the evil tyrants of World War I and II for our freedoms to continue. We can fight this obstruction of justice and burdensome control over our lives. We need to retain our rights according to the U.S. Constitution.
From a trusted patriot about personal experiences of interest:
No greater responsibility rests upon the citizens of this country then to protect our Constitution.
We will protest or picket peaceably.
We will not use violence or abuse.
We will rally together as a people; get off the couch and flood email inboxes, make telephone calls and mail letters telling our state and federal government that we demand a legal and honest election.
We as a people of the United States of America want our country back. As stated in our U.S. Constitution, we are entitled to our liberties and do not want Socialism, Communism, Fascism or any other form of government in these United States.
We can take care of ourselves and protect our families. We will start standing up for our rights.
Remember, we don’t have to fight in hand to hand combat. We are not sent to foreign lands to kill other people. This has already been done for us by many brave men and women. The least we can do is take action in our own homes to save our liberties.
President Trump won the election free and clear. There is evidence that this is so. Seventy-Five million people agree as well. We want President Trump to be our president for the next four years.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Over the past ten years, I have been led on a journey which took me totally by surprise. This journey strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon more than anything else in the world. I have read and studied this book from cover to cover countless times from 1981 to present day, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is “Another testament of Jesus Christ. What took me a step further in my testimony was the journey as to where the Book of Mormon lands are located.
2005: Fifteen years ago, my two oldest daughters attended college in Alabama: one at Auburn University and the other in Montgomery, Alabama (Huntington College). Many times we would drive up to visit them there which took 3 to 3 ½ hours each way. Driving back and forth presented a lot of time to think and ponder. Sometimes the Spirit would impress upon my mind interesting information. One of those being about some of the early people who lived in Alabama before the Europeans arrived. I would see in my mind men running with girded loins and bare chests in and out of the wooded areas as I drove by. I never really thought much of it until later on.
2014: During this year I started finding and watching some videos about the Heartland Model talking about Promised Land from The Book of Mormon being in the United States. This was an interesting idea as all I’ve heard was that the Book of Mormon lands were in Central America. I never understood all of that information and it was confusing to me especially with the idea of having two Hill Cumorahs. How can there be two Hill Cumorahs? There is no way to me that Moroni could drag all of those plates, sword of Laban and the Liahona from Central America to New York State. There must be more to all of this.
2015: With several weddings to attend in Utah, my family and I stumbled on a conference at the UVU Conference Center in Orem in April which promoted the Heartland Model. I know that nothing happens by accident and as I attended the conference I felt that I was being taught some Book of Mormon truths. After pondering the Heartland Model for ten years I felt that I really knew the people of the Book of Mormon and where they lived. I bought and read an interesting book called Prophesies and Promises by Bruce H. Porter and Rod Meldrum which explained the whole Heartland Model in a very simple and easy to understand manner.
May 2020: After finding the Zarahemla site on Facebook, I contacted the site manager and asked if they were in need of volunteers to help with their expedition in August of 2020. We were planning a trip back east anyway, but had not made final plans. I was overjoyed to find that my services would be greatly appreciated and planned to meet this group in August in Nauvoo to help with writing their blog.
August 2020: My experience in Nauvoo, Illinois and Montrose, Iowa was a highlight of my life. The Lord was with us the whole way and we were able to learn about some of the point places of the Book of Mormon:
· Both the families of Lehi and Mulek crossed the Atlantic Ocean
· The place of Lehi’s Landing is Florida, near Pensacola.
· The place of Mulek’s Landing is the Great Lakes Area
· The Land of Nephi covers all the Tennessee and surrounding areas.
· The River Sidon is the Mississippi River
· The battle fought in Alma 2 between Amlici and Alma was near Montrose Iowa and Nauvoo Illinois.
· The Land of Zarahemla stretched from Nauvoo, Illinois to Montrose Iowa.
· The Hopewell culture in the United States are the Book Of Mormon Nephites
· The only Hill Cumorah is in New York State
· The early Native American people living in the East, came from the East.
· The United States of America is the Promised Land of the Book of Mormon
Our third day on the Expedition (August 5th) was spent on the Mississippi River. We were with our Heartland Research Group on the boat “Truth” along with sonar equipment (using a sound ping sent to the bottom and coming back as a picture) expert Don Cummings. He was onboard to take more pictures of the bottom of the river.
This time we had Don Blum and his diver brother and cousin with us. We were hoping for a human eye’s view from our two divers exploring the river bottom near where the crossing could have occurred over 2,000 years ago. This crossing is recorded in Alma chapter 2 in the Book of Mormon during the war between the Lamanites and Nephites. Finding this crossing would connect the ancient account to the geography on digital maps.
Two thousand years ago, even 200 years ago, the Mississippi River was crossable by foot at the harvest time of the year. Sitting on that boat it was hard to believe anyone could cross by foot but we tried to visualize what could have happened from our vantage point. Before the Keokuk Dam was built in 1913, the rapids on the Mississippi River (called the Des Moines Rapids) were 12 miles long but only three feet deep. Since 1913, the river had risen 18 feet and that area of the Keokuk bend was difficult to imagine anyone crossing by foot. Gone are the little islands shown on a late 1800 map. Gone are the areas which could have been crossed so long ago.
We also had Don Blum with us who has over 40 years experience as an explosive expert for a good part of the Mississippi River. Before he even got on the boat he talked about the dangers of diving down into the Mississippi. According to many divers, the Mississippi river is the most dangerous body of water to scuba dive into. It’s murky with very limited visibility and has whirlpools that catch divers who can lose their sense of direction. Then there are the leftover grappling hooks from past fishing excursions which can grab onto arms or legs and not let go. There are also many large logs which are hard to see with 150 pound catfish, snapping turtles and snakes swimming around, all creating a most dangerous place to dive.
Then we learned about Don’s experience blasting rock on the Mississippi River and how the Keokuk Gorge area, which have layers of limestone and is one of the hardest rocks ever blasted in his 39 years of blasting. Once blasted into pieces, these boulders called “riprap” are used to protect the banks of many rivers from erosion. From the Missouri River to the Moline River in Illinois to the end of the Mississippi river in New Orleans, barges of riprap are sent down the river to be used as protection from disintegrating river banks.
Our time on the river was an adventure as the wind blew and the waves pushed against the boat. It was time for the divers to go down to see if they could find that limestone ridge. Once in the water, the visibility under the water was just too difficult to see anything. Even with underwater headlights, it was too dangerous to go any farther. It was a great disappointment to us all, but there was nothing we could do.
With this experience now behind us, our divers will get another chance to go again in the future. Using 3D sonar and more powerful lights, the chances will be better to pinpoint a location to search and find the original banks of the river. We will find better visibility and another time of the year would be better with little waves and no wind. We will look forward to another excursion to ride down the Mississippi River and find the ancient crossing.
If you have ever traveled the eastern side of the country from Alabama to Michigan, you might have seen large areas of fields or woods that have mounds of dirt covered with grass that stand over 15 feet high. Some are not that high, but smaller mounds in wooded areas. If you have been lucky enough to find these cherished burial grounds of an ancient people, you should call yourself very blessed.
There are some places on earth that are so sacred, you cannot take a picture of it nor tell others of your experience. They don’t fully understand what you have felt and many times make fun of what they don’t understand. Our visit to the Nauvoo Ancient Mounds on Tuesday’s (August 5th) excursion was a sacred one. It was life changing.
Walking along these burial grounds, one can feel a sacredness not matched in most places. Two thousand years ago the early ancestors of today’s Native Americans lived there along the banks of the Mississippi River. Roaming around these mounds, gives most people a feeling of serenity and peacefulness. It is believed that these mounds are a part of the Hopewell culture of 550 BC to 400 AD and are like “grave stone marker” that we would use today. Some believe this ancient mound area is the famous Hill Amnihu from The Book of Mormon’s Alma, Chapter 2. I’m one of those believers.
When the care takers, Jennice and Wilson Curlee first started to clean up the area of the Nauvoo Ancient Mounds, it was discovered that some of the mounds had been looted and disrupted, leaving the mound partially open. There is a special ceremony to restore these mounds and the Curlees were able to organize enough people to replace these open mounds.
First, the mound was cleaned for the dirt to be filled. A special material is laid in the spot for the soil. Then soil is brought by dump truck and piled close by to use for the fill. Then bucket by bucket in a bucket brigade, people placed the soil to recover the mound.
With much study and research, this special place along the Mississippi River was discovered to have many burial mounds. The early pioneer Saints of 1839, who settled there, leveled some of those mounds without knowing who was buried there before their arrival. There are many more mounds which have been discovered on the hill top of the Nauvoo Ancient Mounds since then and are kept safe with cemetery status from the State of Illinois.
Close to the Mississippi river where they laid Joseph and Hyrum Smith’s body along with their parents and Emma Smith, was discovered a Nephite burial ground. There are mound sights all along the Mississippi river on the Illinois side in Albany, East Dubuque at Granmercy Park and at the Little Maquoketa River Mounds State Preserve.
There is one special burial mound which was discovered back in 1834. During the months of May and June of 1834 Joseph Smith led more than 200 men on a trek called Zion’s Camp from Kirtland, Ohio to Clay County, Missouri. It was an unsuccessful attempt to regain land from which the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were expelled by non-member settlers. It was on June 3rd while passing through west-central Illinois
near Griggsville, that some bones were uncovered from a mound. Through personal revelation and inspiration, Joseph Smith identified these bones belonging to a white Lamanite and chieftain-warrior named Zelph. It was also told that he was a “thick set man of God”. There was a sharp arrowhead stuck in his side near his ribs. According to the story, one of his thigh bones was broken apparently by a stone flung from a sling while in battle years before his death. He was killed in the battle during the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites.
There is so much history living in these mounds. Peoples’ lives were lived with families in times of peace and in war. There is so much we don’t know about those who lived so long ago, but we can revere these burial grounds. One day we will meet those who lived in this area and they will have wonderful stories to tell.
The Curlees continue to treat the mounds with reverence and hope to preserve the entire site of the hill for the future. They believe that this ridge or hill outside of Nauvoo is the ancient Hill Amnihu as mentioned in Alma chapter 2, and that the mounds and ancient fortification are located on that hill. Visitors are welcome to walk through the land and see the mounds located about 2 miles north of Nauvoo on Sycamore Haven Drive and feel for yourself about this sacred place.
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Have you ever thought about those family members who have gone on before you were born? You’ve never seen a picture of them but you are sure they exist from the stories told about them. Then you find evidences of these family members, like pictures or letters they wrote and you know for sure that they exist. Knowing this gives you great comfort.
It’s the same with Zarahemla. Zarahemla is the largest, ancient city of the Nephite nation written about in The Book of Mormon. We know it exists as we read about it in the Book of Mormon, but where is it? Monday, August 3rd, was the first day of the Heartland Research Group’s expedition to find the river crossing from Alma Chapter 2 which will point us in the right direction in finding the city of Zarahemla.
The Heartland Research Group is made up of a group of very special people. John Lefgren, the organizer, one of the main thrust of the group, our quarterback you might say, educated in economic history, keeps us on task to accomplish our goals. Then there is Wayne May who is an authority on ancient North American archaeology, publisher of Ancient American Magazine who manages the 14-acre site where the ancient Nephite temple lot sits.
Jeff Green is next and he owns and is the captain of the pontoon boat “Truth” getting us out there on the Mississippi River. Kevin Price is onboard as our leading scientist in imaging, remote sensing and geographic information as well as many years in botany study. Dave Holmes came aboard as our investigative reporter, digging up as much information as he could. Don Cummings came with his sonar scanner equipment which was a big part of finding this crossing as he could take sonar pictures of the bottom of the river and find the best places where divers can check it out. Mike Baker, a retired U.S. Marine was onboard as our Field Operations Manager driving us all forward.
Then Ryan Sorenson and his wife Melanie were there as our videographers. There were other support crew as well with a lot of knowledge and enthusiasm: Betty and Mike Lafontaine, keeping us fed with great lunches and in tune with her beautiful flute music and Jennice and Wilson Curlee, caretakers of the Nauvoo Mounds. There were other great supporters who came in families cheering us on.
The Heartland Research Group met on the Zarahemla temple lot to prepare for the search on Monday morning (August 3rd). Our boat name “Truth” was made ready and the maiden voyage started. The waters were choppy but Truth made its way up and down the Mississippi River to start the search with the scanning machine brought out by Don Cummings.
This scientific tool allows us to see and measure the topography of the river bottom. These scanning technologies are non-invasive and uses sound to record what is on the bottom of the river. Once we were done with recording these scans on Wednesday, we would know where to direct the two divers coming Thursday morning to take a look on the bottom of the river. We are searching for the crossing from Alma chapter 2.
After the “Truth” was launched, those on the Zarahemla Temple Site in Montrose, Iowa had their first lesson in “rod dowsing”. Rod Dowsing is a type of divine gift using two L shaped metal
While still at the Zarahemla Temple site, children of all ages, parents and other adults gathered Spotted Bee Balm flowers. This wonderful plant was discovered by Kevin Price to have great medicinal properties. They are growing in abundance on a berm (long, narrow mound of earth) on the Zarahemla Temple site one mile from the Mississippi River. Amazingly this plant loves sandy soil and was discovered growing precisely on this 14-acre site. It is a mystery to many. How could sand be in a place that was a mile from the Mississippi River? Who put the sand there so it could grow? I can’t imagine early farmers dragging wagon loads of sand. More research will be done these next few weeks to see exactly how medicinal these special plants are and how our modern society can use the oil to keep ourselves healthy. Stay tuned.
There is so much in the earth to discover and the blessings of the Book of Mormon written by faithful, powerful men along with their faithful women who lived so long ago, leave us their testimony of their experiences and faith. They leave behind a great legacy of truth. The Book of Mormon just came to life for many in Montrose that day.
Thursday, July 23, 2020
|Replica of Brigham Young Spyglass|