My son Levi married his sweetheart this last week. I asked him how the day went, and his response was, “It was perfect.” I have to agree; it was a perfect day.
There were several miracles that happened leading up to, and on the day that made it especially perfect for me. Interestingly enough this post is a continuation of the “Let” post I wrote earlier. That post planted seeds that continued to germinate in my heart and then sprouted new understandings that I feel are important to share with you today.
I don’t know why the Lord chooses the settings of weddings to perform His miracles. I guess that’s the pattern, His very first miracle was performed at a wedding.
1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. (John 2:1-10)
I want you to pay particular attention to verses seven and eight. Did you notice the servants didn’t question Jesus, they just “let” the miracle happen? Perhaps it was because of what Mary had told them in verse five, that whatever he said to do, they better do it, but the lesson to be learned here is they didn’t do anything to stop the miracle from happening. They did what was asked and didn’t impede the Savior’s miracle from happening.
I think this is a very important part of the story. I bet if you were to look at every one of the miracles Jesus performed you’d see an element of the same. The flow was not impeded by doubt or fear, and therefore the miracles were allowed (let) to happen.
In other words, by doubt and fear we stop the flow of miracles. As I tell you about the miracles that happened for me this last week, for Levi’s wedding day celebration, I would ask you to consider in your own life how you are “letting” God perform miracles in your life, or how you are “stopping” God’s miracles from happening in your life.
A Light Gray Suit
I don’t know why Levi likes light gray suits, but he does. As for me, they are not my favorite and I just as soon not wear one – I don’t particularly like them. I just like darker suits.
For the reception Levi asked if I had a light gray suit; Charlynn and Levi wanted the fathers to wear light gray suits. I didn’t want to tell Levi my particular preference, and had decided that I was going to wear one of my darker suits and Levi and Charlynn were just going to have to deal with it.
But on Wednesday morning before the wedding my mother called me and said she had some extra money and wanted to go to the store and buy me a light gray suit. I told her I really didn’t like light gray suits and that I’d prefer she spent that money on dry cleaning the suits I already owned. She tried to argue with me and convince me that I would look better in a light gray suit and that I should try to make Charlynn and Levi happy, but I wasn’t having it. Really, I was pretty stubborn in my dislike of light gray suits; so she acquiesced and we decided that afternoon I’d bring her my darker suits for her to take to the dry cleaners.
That afternoon as I was heading home from work, I stopped by the bank and then headed home. Next to the Food City is a Goodwill store. The thought came to me, “I wonder if they have a light gray suit?” Without questioning the thought, I parked the car, went into the Goodwill, looked around for where men’s suits were, walked over to the wall where I saw a light gray tweed suit. I looked for a price and it didn’t have one, so I grabbed the suit and took it up to the counter to see how much it cost. I figured it would be about $30 or $40, and I only had a ten dollar bill. I got to the counter and asked the lady how much it cost. She said it was 9 dollars. I had that ten dollar bill in my pocket and handed it to her. She rang it up, and the cash register said it was $24.95. I thought to myself, “But she said, nine dollars?” She didn’t say a word, and handed me back a dollar bill and a penny. I took the suit directly to my mother’s, thinking for sure it was going to need some altering. I hadn’t even tried it on yet. I got to my parent’s house and tried on the suit – it fit perfectly, absolutely no alterations necessary.
Now, you can think this story is just a happy coincidence, or that I’m just lucky, or you can think it was a miracle. But there is an element that I want you to be aware of: at no time did I stop it from happening. I could have stopped it from happening by ignoring, or rejecting the inspiration, by saying to myself, “Naw, they probably don’t have a light gray suit, no one wears light gray suits. And besides, it’ll probably cost more than ten dollars.”
And when I saw it on the rack, I could have stopped the miracle from happening by figuring the suit was probably more than $10 and just walked away. Or I could have stopped it from happening when I found out it was only $9, by figuring that it was too good to be true and probably wouldn’t fit me.
You see, there were several important moments that I could have listened to the doubts and given them heed, and would have stopped the miracle from happening all together. I’m grateful I didn’t. I now own an almost brand new light gray tweed suit that fits me perfectly, and it actually doesn’t look that bad. Still not my favorite color suit, but I got quite a few compliments, so I just may end up liking it after all. And, I think I can still convince Mom to get my other suits dry cleaned; a win-win if you ask me.
Two Prophet’s Time Phone Calls
In D&C 130 the prophet Joseph Smith answers some questions:
4 In answer to the question—Is not the reckoning of God’s time, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, according to the planet on which they reside?
5 I answer, Yes. But there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it. (D&C 130:4-5)
Although he gives a decent answer, it also raises several other questions. Like, what on earth is prophet’s time?
I believe I have an answer, it may not be the answer, but it is a working understanding which I go by in regards to prophet’s time.
I remember several years ago when President Gordon B. Hinckley came to Tucson to dedicate the Mormon Battalion Monument in downtown Tucson. I remember he was under the weather with a cold or something like it. The person that introduced President Hinckley basically said that we should cut him some slack because he was an extremely busy man, and then went on to tell the many countries he had been to, and how many talks he had given in the past year.
It was an unbelievable amount, an almost humanly impossible amount. I remember he had traveled to something like 150 different countries, and given over 400 different original speeches all in that past year, and there were some days he gave several speeches in several different countries all in the same day. And at the time he was 90+ years old.
All remember thinking he must be on prophet’s time; to him everything is at normal speed, but to us he’s going at super-human speed. I mean, come on, I always believed Gordon B. Hinckley was Superman, didn’t you?
Somehow he slowed time. Was he on prophet’s time?
The miracle I’m now going to share with you happened not once, but twice, and I cannot explain it.
When Lindon calls me he only gets 15 minute phone calls at a time. There is a recording at the beginning of the call where I have to “press 5” to start the call and then at 14 minutes the same recorded voice comes on and says, “You have 60 seconds remaining.” And then again at 30 seconds, “You have 30 second remaining.”
Oh, how I detest hearing that recording. The 15 minutes always goes by so blasted fast. I cannot tell you how fast 15 goes by. I’m not exaggerating, many, many times, in fact most times, it feels like we only talked for about 5 minutes. It’s the most frustrating thing. And I’m not the only one who has felt this. Ask anyone who has talked to Lindon, the 15 minutes always flies by.
But not on the day of Levi and Charlynn’s wedding.
Lindon had planned on calling them after the wedding. And as has always been the case, his call was perfectly timed. We had a nice little family luncheon planned for Levi and Charlynn, and Lindon called just as we sat down to eat lunch.
He spoke to Levi for a few minutes, and then spoke with Charlynn for a few minutes, then Charlynn passed the phone back to Levi, who spoke to him about the plans for the rest of the day. Then Levi passed the phone to me. I spoke with Lindon for about 5 to 7 minutes and figured he only had a couple of minutes remaining, so I asked if he had spoken with his mother. He said he hadn’t, so I looked around the room and saw her in the buffet line. I passed her the phone. She talked to him while she filled her plate with food, and then went and sat down, continuing to talk to Lindon. During that time, I noticed that the Chicken Enchilada was out, so I went into the kitchen and grabbed the other pan of Enchiladas. I then noticed that the beans and rice were running low. I went into the kitchen a second time and grabbed the beans and went back out to the buffet line to refill the beans. And then back into the kitchen (the third time) to refill the rice. After refilling the rice I went back into the kitchen to return the rice pan. If you were counting, that was four trips into the kitchen and back. At which time, I saw to my amazement that Lindon’s mother was still on the phone. She handed it back to me and I spoke with Lindon for about a minute and then finally heard the dreaded, “You have 60 seconds remaining.”
That phone call seemed to me like it lasted for at least a half an hour or longer. Add it up; the math doesn’t calculate. We experienced prophet’s time for a glorious half hour or more.
Later that afternoon, while I was driving on the Phoenix freeway towards Peoria where the reception was going to be, Lindon called again. We had a good conversation. It was the normal very fast 15 minute phone call. I made mention of the phone call earlier and Lindon said he had felt the very same thing. He was amazed at how long he was able to talk, and that it felt like we had talked for at least a half hour or more. And then he said the most amazing thing, “But you know what Dad? When I got off the phone the guy waiting in line behind me, who was watching TV while he waited for me, said, “Wow that was quick. Did you use the whole time?” He thought I hadn’t talked my entire 15 minutes.”
Lindon planned on calling later that evening, sometime during the reception. He called his mother, and was able to speak with his sister, and his Aunt, and a couple of other people. His mother made mention that it seemed like it was a much longer phone call than usual. And later when I talked with Lindon he said he felt it was a long conversation, and was amazed because he felt he had talked with his younger sister for at least 10 minutes.
Since I wasn’t there to witness that phone call I’m not going to add it to the count, but wanted to mention that it probably happened again.
When Lindon called me later that evening I was standing with a couple of people that Lindon knows. I excused myself to talk to Lindon. Besides the music was loud and I needed to walk away to be able to hear Lindon. I spoke with him for a few minutes (maybe 5 to 7 minutes). That was when we talked about the phone call with his mother.
He also wanted to know about a special recording that he and I worked on for the reception. I recorded Lindon giving the Best Man Toast for Levi and Charlynn. It was a surprise to everyone. I had no idea it was going to be such a tear-jerker.
After telling Lindon how his toast went, I asked if he wanted to talk to anyone at the reception. I mentioned to him that the people I was talking with before he called would like to talk with him. He said he would love to talk to them. I walked back and handed the phone to each of them, who each spoke to Lindon for maybe a minute or less. I then noticed that the crowd was starting to line up for Levi and Charlynn’s exit.
I said to Lindon that I would give him a play by play, real-time description of what was happening until his time ran out. I figured we only had maybe 5 minutes left on the phone call. As we talked about the wedding, and the reception I also told him what was happening. I remember getting worried that his time would be up before Levi and Charlynn’s exit. “Now they’re lighting sparklers. They are lining up forming a human tunnel with sparklers. I don’t know what’s taking them so long to leave. Oh, I see. They are taking pictures. Your uncle is taking pictures of Levi and Charlynn and they want to make sure everything is in place.”
About two or three minutes later Levi and Charlynn finally walk through the tunnel of sparklers. There was cheering, and yelling and I held the phone up for Lindon to hear. When I brought the phone back down I asked him if he heard and he thanked me for letting him be part of that.
About a minute later Levi and Charlynn drove away in their decorated car. I told Lindon about that.
I thought to myself that the time must be almost over, but saw his uncle from Utah and asked if he had spoken with him yet. He hadn’t so I walked over to where his uncle was and handed the phone to him. He spoke for about a minute or two. I got the phone back and was sure the time was up, but ended up talking for another two or three minutes when I saw his Aunt (the one who gave Lindon his star chart), and I walked over to her and handed her the phone. She spoke with Lindon for about a minute, maybe even more, because she had several things she wanted to mention to Lindon.
She handed the phone back to me and I was in total amazement. I couldn’t believe the miracle I was observing. I mentioned it to Lindon and he said he was amazed too, at which, “You have 60 seconds remaining.” Finally came. We ended that miraculous phone call by telling each other how much we love and miss each other. But I know we also had a prayer of gratitude in our hearts for the miracle we had just been recipients of.
This phone call couldn’t have been only 15 minutes long. I have gone over and over in my head the timing of it and I cannot fathom how time was stretched; we definitely experienced prophet’s time.
But did you notice what I noticed? The word “let” was a play the entire time. At no point did I stop the phone call miracle by imposing my beliefs, completely and totally justified beliefs too. Do you understand what I am teaching you here?
We have experiences that give us evidences that solidify into beliefs. I have had many, many phone calls with Lindon where the 15 minutes flies by, where it seems that the phone call was only 5 minutes long. Many times I have checked the time on my phone because I was sure I was cheated a minute or two. I have a string of evidence to completely justify my belief about how much I can and cannot fit into a 15 minute phone call.
But that’s just it, at no point did I stop the phone call miracle by saying, even to myself, “No, I can’t pass the phone to so-and-so because we just don’t have time.” In fact, I don’t recall even thinking it. I just “let” the miracle happen, and the entire time kept a grateful heart for being the recipient of such a tremendous blessing.
This next little miracle happened on the day of the wedding and really had nothing to do with me or Lindon, but I thought I would share it because it’s yet another perfect example that God is lovingly watching out for each of us, even if we don’t recognize it, or acknowledge it.
Levi’s and Lindon’s step father and younger sister had had a terrible time flying from North Carolina to Phoenix. They were supposed to arrive Friday evening, but here it was Saturday afternoon and they still hadn’t picked up the rental car they had reserved several weeks in advance.
He grabbed a number and it was 104, and the sign said they were serving number 61. He just knew he was going to be there at least another hour before they were able to finally get their rental car.
He sat down with a huge sigh and there at his feet was a semi-wadded up ticket number; number 72.
He thought to himself, “Should I? Should I even try? I bet the guy who picked number 72 saw how long the wait was going to be and just dropped it and walked away. Ah, what the heck. Give it a try.”
So he walked up to the counter and asked the lady at the counter what number they were serving and she said, “I just got done with number 71, what number do you have?”
People. God wants to bless us! He wants to show us how much He love us. All we have to do is let Him.
I could share several other miracles that happened on that day, but they are deeply personal, and I do not feel they are important for me to share on PrisonTemple at this time, although I will cherish them in my heart forever. And I can whole heartedly testify the common denominator in all of them is a simple three letter word – LET.
Let the miracles flow my friends. Let God show you His love for you. Let Him.
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