Stephenson Family Ties The Barn Burnt Down
And Now I See The Moon

From the Files of Grandma Sharp

My dear mom...our grandma Sharp...left two file cabinet drawers brimming with lessons, talks and thoughts saved since 1977.  I thought I would have no problems deep sixing all that paper and effort...for everything can be found on Pintrest these days right!!?? Wrong!! As I began flipping through those files I realized there was a treasure trove of insight seen through my mothers eyes. And I determined right there and then that I would share what I could from the things she saved.  We'll call it...FROM THE FILES OF GRANDMA SHARP

The words given voice inside the mind are
not always clear, however, they can be 
gentle and elliptical, what the prophets
called the "bat gol" the daughter of the
voice of God, she who speaks in
whispers and 'half-seen images.
from: The Beekeepers Apprentice
by: Laurie R King

The first lesson I came upon was entitled...What Do You Have to Declare?

Grandma asked- "How many of us have been through customs after taking an international trip?"

She answers her own question by reflecting on her experiences  with Russian customs in the early 1980's.   The Cold War was in full swing...and so we can only imagine how painstaking, thorough  and troublesome customs must have been.  Who likes having ones luggage rummaged through by strangers..made even worse by it being a grumpy Russian official??  She made the comment that she was grateful that her clothes were clean and that there were no embarrassing items to be ashamed of to be found among her things.

Wise travelers, who like to expedite the length of time one has to stand in line for customs can make a list of all valuables they carry with them. This helps when the question arises, "what do you have to declare?"
Grandma would have us think about our destination after this earthly trip and what we will have to declare when we reach those pearly gates.
Apostle Paul states that our list wont be written in ink..but with "the spirit of the living God; not on tables of stone, but in the fleshy tables of the heart." 2 Corinthians 3:3
I think we all know what Grandma Sharps 'list' looked like.  We are asked to be full of Christlike love..check.  A good heart...check.  have Unconditional love...check.  Compassion....check.  Mercy...check. Courage...check.  What do we wish  our list to contain?

Who is our customs official?
 "Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it by the gate: for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.  2 Nephi 9:41

Being free from sin is requisite as well.  As is having a repentant heart.  Grandma Sharp found a wonderful quote from Orson Whitney on the subject of sin.
"Sin is the transgression of divine law as made known through the conscience or by revelation.  A man sins when he violates his conscience, going contrary to the light and knowledge. Not the light  knowledge that has come to his neighbor but that which had come to himself.  He sins when he does the opposite of what he knows to be right."
We need to listen to our own inner conscience. Thats doable right?
Our 'trip' here on earth is more treacherous than it is carefree. But we have been given a inner light and knowledge. We need to use it.   We need to learn from our mistakes.  We need to 'go within' and listen to our heart. And follow it.

"There was an old and very large inch cape rock.  It got its name from being located just one inch below the water's surface where it couldnt be seen and it lay dangerously  in the path of the mariners returning from  sea.  Many seamen had lost their ships and their lives because of the rock, especially in times of storm.  There was an abbot in the small seashore town of Aberbrothok  who devised a solution to this life threatening hazard.  With great care and in the face of considerable danger, the abbot fastened a buoy  with a large bell on it to the inch cape rock.  From then on the bell rang continuously and faithfully with the motion of the waves of the sea.  Ralph the Rover was a bit of pirate and he disliked the praises the abbot received from the mariners whose lives he spared.  So one day,  Ralph the Rover cut the bell from the inch cape rock."

"Down sank the bell with a gurgling sound,
The bubbles rose and burst around,
Quoth Sir Ralph.  "The next who comes to the rock,
Won't bless the abbot of Aberbrothok."
Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away,
He scoured the seas for many a day."

"On his way back it was night and the sea was high and he thought the moon would be up. In the darkness, he said with great anxiety but only to himself,  "I wish I could hear the bell of the inch cape rock." and the rhyme continued:

Sir Ralph Rover tore his hair,
He cursed himself in deep despair.
The waves rushed in on every side,
The ship sinking beneath the tide."

(The Inch Cape Rock,  Robert Southey)

Grandma wants us to listen to our inner bell.  Sometimes its difficult to listen and do what that inner bell would have us do.  And sometimes we wish we could hear it more clearly.
For life is a journey...and in the end we must all pass through those pearly gates..and just as we have to declare our possessions at customs..we will be asked what we can declare to let us pass through to God and his Kingdom.

There are 'riches'  to declare that help us to pass through to God.  Listening to the still small voice, 'the bell,' and acting upon what we know we should be doing will get us there.

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