Thursday, October 27, 2011

City of Zion

I remember as a primary girl learning about Enoch and his city, "And I the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them."  I grew to love Enoch and admire him for his great empathy. One of the stories that still brings tears to my eyes is when Enoch was visitng with the Lord I'll let Enoch share his story:

"And after Zion was taken up into heaven, Enoch beheld and lo all the nations of the earth were before him; and there came generation upon generation; and Enoch was high and lifted up even in the bosom of the Father and the Son of Man; and behold the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth.  And he saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice saying:  Wo,Wo  be unto the inhabitantsof the earth.  And behold Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.
And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and the Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.
And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it saying:  How is it that the heavens weep and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?  And Enoch said unto the Lord; How is it that thou canst weep seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all is it thou canst weep?
The Lord said unto Enoch; Behold these thy brethern; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden gave I unto man his agency; and unto thy brethern have said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that the should choose me, their Father; but behold they are without affection and they hate their own blood....
Enoch knew and looked upon their wickedness and their misery and wept  and stretched forth his arms and his heart swelled wide as eternity and his bowels yearned and all eternity shook..."

I have had many instances where my heart swelled as I looked upon the wickedness and misery of some of my brothers and sisters.
If you haven't noticed I love music; it speaks to my soul. As a child I learned the words to this song that ties in beautifully with Enoch's story..

Zions Theme

One night I dreamed a dream; I saw a noble city
With those who were so pure and of one mind and heart
Oh what joy, Peace and love filled the souls of Zion
At dawn when I awoke I looked around with longing.
And lo beauty was there I felt the joy and light
Then I knew and the dream burst forth and was Zion.

It is my heartfelt prayer that all may come to know and feel the joy and light which comes with finding your own personal Zion.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lost Love

Since I have been non-weight bearing I would flip thru the channels of the television to see if anything sounded interesting to watch.  One day as I was channel surfing a documentary on suicide caught my attention.  I was not surprised but I was very sad that the one thing all the suicide victims shared was, "I just want to be loved."  Wheels started turning in my mind hence, lost love:

In todays fast paced technological world it is so heartbreaking to see so many searching for someone to love and to lift tired hands. 
Buried deep within our souls is a longing for a love which we knew so long ago.  A love that was pure and unconditional.  How our hearts yearn for that lost love.
Elder Groberg gave a powerful talk about the power of pure love.  A comment he made that vibrated within my soul was, "True love can lift you from the very depths of your deepest despair."
I have had multiple witness's to the truthfulness of those words as I have struggled with some of my most difficult challenges.  I have felt the power of love for a loved one bring one back from their heavenly home to their earthly abode.  I have had two near death experiences where I returned for a brief moment to my heavenly home.  As I expressed my desire to stay, a loved one would point and ask, "what about him?"  I found myself looking to see who they were pointing at and I would see my husband.  My heart went out to him and a surge of love filled my entire being and I knew that it was not time for me to leave him behind. 
Sadly, there are many in their great despair who feel they were left behind.  They find themselves in such a hopeless state that they cannot even see the One who loves them the most.  In their small dark world there is no one willing or able to feed them.

"So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter,
Simon, son of Jonas,
Lovest thou me more than these?
He saith unto Him, Yea Lord;
thou knowest that I love thee.
He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
He saith to him again, the second time,
Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?
He saith unto Him, Yea Lord;
thou knowest that I love thee.
He saith unto him, Feed my sheep
He saith unto him the third time,
Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?
Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time
Lovest thou me?
And he said unto Him,
Lord thou knowest all things;
Thou knowest that I love thee
Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep

May we be so willing to show our love for our Savior and reach out our hand to those in such great distress and "Feed His Sheep."

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Am A Child of God words By Me

As I was reading my FB posts LDS Conference had made a post that they were looking for new verses to "I Am A Child of God"  I went to the TF temple and as I was sitting in that peaceful setting these words started playing out in my mind.  I typed part of them up and submitted them.  They were chosen so I had a family that my mom loved sing the lines and upload it to the LDS Conference page.  Later I received an e-mail that they had uploaded my verses with a video on U-Tube.  If you would like to see the video go to U-tube and type in "I Am A Child of God, words by Lorie Bishop "  It is pretty neat to watch ....not that I'm partial since it was my words lol

I am a child of God

His love for me Divine.

He fills my soul with peace and love

When life becomes unkind.

He leads me

Guides me

Walk’s beside me,

Showing me the way

Knowing He is always near

 Brings great peace

to this child’s soul.

The Ones Left Behind

In 1994 my brother decided he could no longer handle this ole world anymore, so he took his own life.  His death totally rocked my world and forever changed me.  I was taking an English Comp class and one of our assignments was to write a about a personal trial we had which had changed our lives.  I chose my brother's death.  I went through all the stages of grief writing this essay.  I come to realize that I had not healed I had simply buried it deep in my heart.  It was shortly after I completed this essay that I was once again able to hang his picture back on the wall.  It had just been to painful for me to even look at his face.  I share it in hopes that it will bring peace to another who has to walk that darkened road of suicide.     

In 1994 there were 2,286,000 obituaries published across the nation.  30,570 of those notices included the words “died from self-inflicted wounds,” more commonly known as suicide.  Sadly, my older brother Terry was counted among them.  In one brief moment on February 10, 1994 my brother ended his life and took a large portion on mine with him.
It all started with the simple action of answering the phone.  My stepmother had called to inform me that earlier in the morning Terry had put a gun to his head.  I remember my brain screaming out that she was lying while my heart felt like it had been shattered into a zillion pieces.
The morning of February 11th, my husband and I headed down to Terry’s home in Ogden, Utah.  As I gazed out the window, I reflected on a conversation Terry and I had back in 1992.  In February of that year, I had gone to Ogden for the weekend.  One evening Terry drove us up to the Ogden canyon, so that we could talk.  After parking the pick-up, he proceeded to tell me that he was feeling even more isolated.  He made reference to the fact that the “family members” had hugs for each other, but none for him.  No one in the family, with the exception of me, understood his loneliness and pain.  He continued on saying that he was beginning to feel as if he were invisible because people would look right through him.  He closed by making the comment that he was a horrible monster no one could ever love.  I punched his arm playfully and said, “Hey now I love you.”  He simply replied, “Yeah sis, I know you love me, but it’s not the same.”  He shared his hope that one day he would meet someone that would love him the way my husband love me.
Staring out the driver’s side window he mumbled, “But that will never happen.”  I knew at that moment he had been contemplating suicide.  So I came right out and asked him, “Terry have you been thinking about putting a gun to your head?”  Choosing not to answer me he simply started the truck.  Sensing his avoidance of my question I asked him again.  His response was so calm it sent chills down my spine, “Yeah sis, I have thought about killing myself but it won’t be with a gun.  Instead I am just going to drive my pickup over the edge of the Ogden Dam.”  Ice began to fill my veins.  “Terry you can’t do that to me.  We promised that we would always be here for each other.”  Even now I can see his face as he responded, “I’m just kidding sis, I’m not going to kill myself.”  Those words from the past were running through my mind as my husband and I crossed the Utah line.

I found myself increasingly anxious as we arrived in Ogden.  When we pulled up in front of Terry’s home everything looked normal.  His pickup was parked in the driveway and his dog Rusty was greeting us with his usual bark.  I found myself praying that Terry would be inside the house eagerly waiting for me.  When I opened the front door instead of seeing Terry, I saw our cousin Phil who was an officer with the Ogden Police Dept.  He was sitting in one of the living room chairs with his head bowed.  As I walked towards him he slowly lifted his head and raised his hands to me, “Lorie I was the responding officer.”  I had been in a state of denial but at that moment the reality began to hit me.  My brother was never going to greet me again.  He was really gone.

Later that evening as I made my way down the hall to my bedroom (Terry had set aside one of the bedrooms just for me) I remembered the last conversation my brother and I had.  It was Jan. 30th at my mom’s birthday party.  Terry had called to get my mom’s phone number around 8:00pm.  He said that Aunt Ruth, whom he affectionately called “Nana” wanted to wish her a happy birthday.  He sounded so distant that I kept asking if he was okay.  He would respond, “Yeah sis I’m fine.”  He told me that he had to go after he had written the number down.  “Terry”, I said, “You know how much I love you don’t you?”  He answered vaguely, “I know sis, I love you too.”  As we hung up this strange sense of loss came over me.

The morning of the service I felt as if I was wading through quicksand.  I did not want to face the cold reality of it all.   Instead I wanted to stay within the safety of my denial.  The service was like a dream to me.  After all, that could not be my brother lying there in that gray marble box.  It looked like my brother Terry but it just could not be him.  It came time to close the casket’s lid and I found myself trying to crawl inside with my brother.  We had promised that we would always be there for each other and now total strangers were trying to separate us.  I was not going to let them succeed.  I believe it was my step-father who finally pulled me away so the funeral attendant could close the lid.  As they latched the locks I felt as though my heart was being shredded by razor blades and then there was nothing, nothing but a large black hole taking the place of my heart.

Someone, I do not know who, took my hand and led me to a car for the funeral procession.  Once arriving at the cemetery they led me to a square hole in the frozen ground where they proceeded to set Terry’s casket.  I can remember feeling an icy numbness as I watched the final scenes played out.  Afterwards, my husband led me to our car telling me it was time to head home.  I let him strap me in like an obedient child.  I found that my eyes no longer focused on the here and now.  Everything had became a continuous blur.

When we got back to Idaho, my husband discovered that our “hell” had just begun.  I had withdrawn so far into myself that I had become a walking zombie.  A few weeks after returning home my husband tried to reach me and I resented the intrusion into my cold little world.  I let him know by telling him that when they had sealed my brother up in that box they had sealed me up also and not only did they bury him they buried me along with him.  My stinging remark cut my husband deeply.  But because he loved me he kept trying to reach me.  Many a night he would take my car keys because I had made it clear that I did not want to go on living.  I found myself hating the man I had once called my “best friend.”  He had now become my worst enemy.

I found my days intertwining, turning into months and years.  Each day I awoke with emptiness filling my soul.  I had found myself feeling just as Terry had unloved and invisible.  I was in such a severe depression that I could not see the loving arms that were reaching out to me.  One morning, however, I woke up and felt a little tinge of something in the area where my heart had been; each morning after that I felt more and more of my heart coming back to life.  It felt as if someone was inside tenderly putting my shattered heart back together one piece at a time.  Day by day I found my eyes focusing again.  Life was clearer and the continuous blur was gone.  Slowly the icy numbness inside started melting away and the long slow process of healing began.

I knew I was on the final stretch of the healing process when one night I found myself watching an I Love Lucy rerun on television.  As usual, Lucy had one of her hair brained ideas backfire.  While watching her idea backfire, I found myself laughing.  The sound of unfamiliar voice laughing totally shocked me.  Could that have been my voice I just heard?  It had been so long since I had smiled let alone laugh that I thought I had forgotten how.  Needless to say, that laughter was music to my ears.  It was then that I realized I had become a “suicide survivor.”
Over time I had managed to pull myself out of that deep hole of depression that Terry’s death had plunged me into.

Six years have now passed since my brother became “another statistic.”  I still carry an invisible scar in my heart as a constant reminder of the events that transpired in 1994.  There is still a large void both in my heart and life that will never be filled; simply because I can no longer just pick up the phone and say, “Hey bro, guess what!”  I no longer have my “own room” in Ogden.  I now find myself at a little cemetery in Brigham City, Utah saying my hellos to a granite headstone.  I no longer receive warm brotherly hugs as the only contact I have with him is in the coldness of the marble.  I tenderly brush away the grass, leaves and dirt from around my brother’s marker remembering his life.  As I lovingly gaze upon it, my eyes are drawn to the scene I had engraved upon it; my final gift to my brother.

The first thing I see is a towering mountain surrounded by trees, at the base of the mountain is a simple log cabin with a front porch facing the mountain.  My eyes are then drawn to the gentlemen sitting in a wooden rocking chair gazing up at his mountain.  My eyes fill with tears as I remember Terry’s statement about his “dream home,” he said, “One day sis, I’m going to move up into the mountains and build me a log home.”  I would just smile and say, “Oh Terry, you would get so lonely up there in the mountains all by yourself.”  He would then gaze up at the Ogden mountainside and claim, “No sis, up in the mountains is the only place I do belong.”