Monday, March 31, 2008

New Job

Well - I didn't last very long in "retirement"................... only 4 months and then, 8 business days ago I started work for a great little company called Mountain Reservations. It is a vacation property on-line booking, reservation, and property information company with over 80 web sites. We are launching a new site this coming June that will not only include hundreds of ski and winter properties but also an entire new vertical of beach properties. The new web site will be:

I hope that everyone will check out our web sites and if you decide to go on vacation and would rather stay in a condo, for less money than a hotel, let me know and I will help you get what you want. When you take your family on vacation and add up the costs of multiple hotel rooms and food, you just can't beat vacation rental properties. We represent some pretty awesome properties and the rates are extremely reasonable for what you get. You can get ocean front, lake front, ski out the door, etc. Lots of fun options. Just let me know and I'd be happy to help you.

That's all I have for now. I wish I had time for more.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just found - - envelope of pictures from my trip with Jan, Harley, and Bailey to Illinois in Fall of 2007.  Of course, I must post a couple of them, for several reasons, one of which is so that people again, will have their need for the BLOG owner to post pictures of herself, and next, so that everyone can see my wonderful, beautiful, terrific, special, darling, spiritual, Christ like, and amazing Mother - Donna; and her fabulous, fantastic, kind, caring and loving husband Vern. So, here you go.  These pictures were taken as we travelled around the Nauvoo, Illinois area.  

Vickie, Vern and Jan visiting Pioneer Saints buildings and sites in Nauvoo, on the Mississippi.                                     




Friday, March 7, 2008

Answers to the Eve & the Choice Made in Eden questions posted earlier: 

1)  Was there another way whereby human beings might enter mortality if Eve had not partaken of the "forbidden fruit." There was no other way. "Adam and Eve did the very thing the Lord intended them to do.  If we had the original record we would see the purpose of the Fall clearly stated and its necessity explained, " taught President Joseph Fielding Smith as he reminded us of how much has been lost to our understanding.  President J. Reuben Clark spoke in unequivocal terms of the importance of the choice made in Eden - on it "depended the whole Plan of the Great Council in Heaven, because those who kept their first estate, must have opportunity to come to earth, to obtain mortal bodies, that they might then be proved in this second estate, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them..... and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever" (Abraham 3:25-26)."

2) Did Eve and her daughters aid in the work of the Creation?  Eve was at Michael's side before the foundations of the earth were set in place.  Eve's role was vital, for she was actively engaged in the planning and preparations that would shape out sphere.  As the leaders of the Church have taught, she was one of those "taking the materials and making the earth" (Abraham 4). Certainly many of us were also privileged to participate.  Elder McConkie elaborated on Elder Marion G. Romney's statement that Adam was taught concerning the preexistence, the creation of the earth - which he himself had participated in, when he told us that Christ and Michael presided over much of the creative work, and then asked, "Can we do other than conclude that Mary and Eve and Sarah and myriads of our faithful sisters were numbered among them?"

3) What does the name Eve mean?  Did Adam name Eve?   Eve means: the mother of all living.  The name was chosen by God the Father and he had already given this name to her, as explained in Moses 4:26.

4)  Was "thou mayest choose for thyself" an ambiguous commandment or the chance to obey a greater law?  
The Lord gave 2 commandments to Adam & Eve in the garden:  1)  Multiply and replenish the Earth.  2)  Do not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good & evil.  This was a dilemma.  Adam & Eve could not do both.  They had to break one of the commandments. The Lord however, went on to provide them with further knowledge as he reminded them that they had been given their Agency.  By providing this setting, the Lord was allowing and setting into action the principle of Agency - - our second estate, mortality, the place where we are to prove through our agency which laws we will follow.  The Lord gave Adam & Eve 2 choices - neither of which was evil - both possibilities were good.  Usually, however, one of the choices is of greater import than the other.  When in doubt, we must, we should choose that which concerns the Good of OTHERS - the GREATER LAW - rather than that which clearly benefits ourselves - the lesser law.  The greater law was the one that Eve chose in Eden, that was the choice made in Eden.  We do know that Adam& Eve spent much time being taught by our Father in Heaven, which means that they were given the knowledge necessary to make the choices that the Plan of Happiness needed them to make.

5)  Was the commandment not to partake absolute or was it time centered? We do not understand God's time and so we can't answer this question today.  In fact, we do not know how long Adam & Eve were in the Garden.  We do know that they spent a very long time being taught by our Father in Heaven & his Son Jesus Christ. We also know that whatever the plan, it would be fulfilled, therefore the time as it may be needed was provided.

6)  Was Eve created from Adam's rib?  Hebrew scholars point out that the biblical word tsela, translated "rib" in Genesis 2:22, really means something like "side".  The normal use is for describing sacred architectural elements, such as portions of the temple or the tabernacle.  The Hebrew word did not have any "early form", and there is no reason to believe that is once meant "side" but later took on the meaning of "rid".  Only in the Eden story is the word translated into "rid".  Closer examination of the Hebrew word and meanings help us to understand that what was meant was that Adam & Eve were 2 equal beings, side by side, together.  As President Gordon B. Hinckley stated, Eve was the crowning work of creation after the Father had completed all else.  Hugh Nibley tells us that the word rib expresses the ultimate in proximity, intimacy and identity.  Jeremiah 20:10 speaks of keepers of my tsela, meaning bosom friends, inseparable companions. Moses 3:22 tells us that Eve was the rib, not from the rib - very different meaning. Genesis 2:21 tells us that Eve was created, and then Adam was awakened.  The word awake seems to indicate that the advent of Eve is the harbinger of a profound spiritual awakening for Adam and, by extension, for us all. 

7)  Were Adam and Eve joined in eternal marriage in the Garden of Eden? Genesis 2:23 tells us:  "Bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh."  These words are part of an ancient covenant pledge.  They were used to bind the man and the woman together.  Adam & Eve entered into a covenant marriage, their future identity will be as one and through time we often refer to them as Adam.  "Adam & Eve were joined together in marriage for time and for all eternity by the power of that everlasting priesthood," Elder Russell M. Nelson reminded us.  President Joseph Fielding Smith assured us, "Adam & Eve were married by the Lord while they were yet immortal beings in the Garden of Eden and before death entered the world."  

8)  Where and when were knowledge and moral agency given to Adam and Eve?  As recorded in Moses 7:32, And I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto mad his agency".  In fact, the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth was given to Adam and Eve before they were told not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Moses 2:28; 3:17).

9)  What is the meaning of transgression, as used in the Garden story?  Elder Boyd K. Packer taught that "the Fall came by transgression of a law, but there was no sin connected with it.  There is a difference between transgression and sin.  Both always bring consequences.  While it may not be a sin to step off a roof, in doing so, you become subject to the law of gravity and consequences will follow . . . The fall of man was made from the presence of God to this mortal life".  It was not a sin - it was a transgression and therefore, there were consequences and it was wrong because it was formally prohibited.  The Prophet Joseph Smith assured us that "Adam did not commit sin in eating the fruits, for God had decreed that he should eat and fall."  Lehi explained that, "if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen" (2 Nephi 2:22) but would have remained in the same state in which he was created.  

We have learned that Adam and Eve were without sin and in a state of absolute innocence until they transgressed by partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Had they not partaken, every living thing would be in Eden, all these unknown number of years later as it was then - - - bird, beast and crawling thing, along with Adam and Eve.  In fact, WE ALL WOULD BE WAITING WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF PREMORTALITY TO COME TO EARTH AND CLAIM OUR MORTAL BODIES.

Trans is a Latin word meaning "to move from one state to another, on or to the other side of, beyond, over, across."  Gress is a form of a Latin word meaning "to go."  What we have here then is to move from one state to another, to go from one state to another.  

All mankind is forever blessed because of the great courage Eve had to make this choice and then to have Adam follow in courage and wisdom.  By partaking of the fruit first, Eve did exactly what she needed to do, exactly what needed to be done.  Adam was wise enough to do likewise.

10) Is beguiled as it is used in the Garden story a negative or a positive word?  Eve used her knowledge to make a decision.  Through the history of time, the biblical translations have been lost and/or changed.  Beguiled, as a Hebrew word, is a rare verb which has come to mean in this modern day, something with a negative reputation.  Because it is a form no longer in use, it is almost impossible to translate.  "It is sage to say that it indicates an intense multilevel experience which evokes great emotional, psychological and/or spiritual trauma."  Lets use the new knowledge that we've gained within the contents of this book so far and explain the answer to the question.  

Beguiled is not a negative word.  Eve was to make the decision and had much time to think about making the decision.  She was taught by our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ both in the premortal time and in the temple at the Garden of Eden.  Satan was ALLOWED in the Lord's Garden and was ALLOWED to speak to Adam and Eve, as it was part of the plan.  Satan did talk with Eve but all he did was confirm to her that what she already knew she was going to do, was what she was going to do.  Satan thought that he had fooled both Adam and Eve and thwarted God's plan.  However,  as it turned out,  Eve thwarted Satan's plan of destruction, and then recognized Satan in the Garden.  Brother Hugh Nibley suggests that Satan holds a grudge against Eve and all of her daughters.  Sister Patricia Holland said:  "If I were Satan and wanted to destroy a society, I think I would stage a full-blown blitz on women."

11)  Was the nakedness of Adam and Eve literal?  What did God do about it?  When their eyes were "opened" and they knew they were "naked" as told to us in Moses 4:13, they hid themselves.  There are scripture references as well as General Authority quotes that tell us that the "Naked" used in the Garden of Eden is symbolic in a different realm, and may have had added meaning, as they were entering mortality.  Adam and Eve were now totally vulnerable to the vagaries of this earthly sphere.  In mortality they were subject to earth's forces and susceptible to temptation.  An Ancient apocryphal record called the Apocalypse of Moses depicts how Eve might have felt upon finding herself in this condition:  "At that very moment my eyes were opened and I knew that I was naked of the righteousness with which I had been clothed.  And I wept saying, "why have you done this to me, that I have been estranged from my glory with which I was clothed?"  They had lost their paradisiacal robes - so, in one essence they were naked.  Their spiritual protection, which they had in the pre-existence was also gone.  

However,  Moses 4:27 provides us with information that shows how loving and kind our Father in Heaven is as he addresses Adam and Eve's physical nakedness:  "Unto Adam, and also unto his wife, did I, the Lord God, make coats of skins, and clothed them."  We've been told that these clothings had religious significance because the Lord Himself put his hand to them.   

12)  Why was Satan allowed into God's garden?  The only way that Satan could have gotten into the Lord's garden is if the Lord allowed him in.  Therefore,  we must assume that Satan was part of God's plan.  When we understand God's plan further, we understand that the plan could possibly not go forth without a little assistance from Satan to entice Eve to partake.  We do not know how long Adam and Eve had been in the Garden.  It could have been days, weeks, months, years or even decades.  Even though Eve had knowledge of the plan, the added incentive to partake was given to Satan.  As with any Temple, or house of the Lord, you cannot come in until you are invited by the Lord.  Therefore, we know that the Lord must have invited or allowed Satan into the Garden of Eden or otherwise he would not have been there.

13)  Are we born in sin or to love sin?  Absolutely not, we are born in love and to love righteousness - the opposite of sin.  We are being taught by our Heavenly Parents as well as other spiritual beings before we come to earth to obtain our second estate.  We know God's plan and have agreed to the plan.  We are happy to have finally come to earth to receive our bodies and prove ourselves worthy to return to his sight.

It is necessary for all of us to be subject to sin,  that we all might be privileged to work out our own salvation.  Elder Talmage wrote:  "In our Lord alone has been fulfilled the word of God spoken in relation to the fall of Adam, that the seed of the woman should have power to over-come Satan by bruising the serpent's head."  Eve's progeny need not feel weak or powerless.  It is not intended that we all sin.  Sin may be a reality, but we are not all intended to succumb to it.  Yet, we must see the bad in order to know the good.  Evil provides a contrast with good.  We must have agency - that is God's plan.

14)  Was Eve cursed in childbirth?  Are labor pains part of that curse?
Heavens no!  Don't you just love these questions..... especially when you realize that there are people out there that actually believe the answers are positive.  Seems insane to me.  Anyway, Eve was not cursed in childbirth, nor are labor pains part of that curse.  Lets look at this logically.  Innocent female animals have labor pains and they have nothing to do with "religion" and following or not following Christ.  Women that are not baptized in any religion have labor pains.  Again,  innocent from following or not following Christ, yet having labor pains.  The Lord would not allow Satan to put this type of curse on his children, in the first place.  However,  While in the Garden, Heavenly Father and Jesus did converse with Eve and provided her with much knowledge, so that she was made aware that there will be mortal pain that comes from many ways and one of those will be in child birth.

15)  What death should we fear?  We have been taught that when we left the presence of our Heavenly Father, just as Adam and Eve did were denied the presence of the Father at their departure from Eden - - we experienced a spiritual death.  The great fear is the possibility of that spiritual deal (separation from the Father) becoming permanent, for from that, there is no release.  In Alma 12:32 we read, "  Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of redemption should have no power, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, accordring to the supreme goodness of God."

16)  How did Adam and Eve feel upon finding themselves in mortality?  They were prepared because of the hours upon hours they had spent with our Heavenly Father and our brother Jesus Christ learning and getting ready for the next step.  They were scared as well, they knew what was facing them - again, because they had been told.  But, they remembered that they had been given the gift of prayer and so they knew that they could speak with their Father in Heaven.  They also knew that Jesus would come down and be their redeemer and this gave them comfort.

17)  Who is the strategist in the battle of the sexes?  Eve.  Eve could see that the earthly sphere she and Adam would enter by partaking of the fruit would provide everything necessary for a rich physical and spiritual life.  Stepping out into the other place was not an absolute unknown after all.  She had been taught by our Heavenly Father, they had been taught.  Eve chose to partake of the fruit, just as she had been foreordained to do, and Adam partook after her, to the hallelujah shouts of millions of spirits.  If she had not done this, we would all still be waiting.  Eve understood the plan, figured it out, and knew what she needed to do, in order to fulfill the plan.  That is what I call a strategist!
18)  What are the two forms of knowledge that can make us like God?  The knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil.  Very simple in theory but often times, difficult in execution.

19)  Why was Eve allowed the privilege of triggering the Fall, when Adam, who held the priesthood, was the presiding high priest?  Eve was the strategist, for one. More to come, gotta run......Eve was preordained = foreordained to be the Mother of all living.  Within this calling, she was told to partake of the forbidden fruit and therefore begin the process of bringing pre-mortal spirits into the world.  This was not an assignment requiring priesthood intervention or powers.  Eve handled her foreordination responsibilities exceptionally well.
20)  Why was Eve the first in the Garden to recognize Lucifer for who he was?  Eve partook of the forbidden fruit initially and then offered it to Adam. There was time between Eve partaking and Adam partaking that allowed Eve to accumulate additional knowledge.  She was in the garden with "opened eyes" much longer than Adam was.