Sunday, September 6, 2009

Visions, Hugs and Kisses

I need to draw closer to Heaven. I need to affirm my testimony that there is an unlimited source of comfort, encouragement, love, support, and inspiration. I need to realize once again that our Heavenly Parents and our Savior are as concerned about us as any loving earthly family would be about loved ones far away from home on an important mission.

I've thought along these lines several times in the last few days, and it happened again this morning when I learned of this story told by Melvin J. Ballard in 1917:

"I had been on the Fort Peck Reservation for several days with the brethren, solving the problems connected with our work among the Lamanites. Many questions arose that we had to settle. There was no precedent for us to follow, and we just had to go to the Lord and tell Him our troubles, and get inspiration and help from Him. On this occasion I had sought the Lord, under such circumstances, and that night I received a wonderful manifestation and impression which has never left me. I was carried to this place—into this room. I saw myself here with you. I was told there was another privilege that was to be mine; and I was led into a room where I was informed I was to meet someone. As I entered the room I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious being I have ever conceived of, and was taken forward to be introduced to Him.

"As I approached He smiled, called my name, and stretched out His hands towards me. If I live to be a million years old I shall never forget that smile. He put His arms around me and kissed me, as He took me into His bosom, and He blessed me until my whole being was thrilled. As He finished I fell at His feet, and there saw the marks of the nails; and as I kissed them, with deep joy swelling through my whole being, I felt that I was in heaven indeed. The feeling that came to my heart then was: Oh! If I could live worthy, though it would require four-score years, so that in the end when I have finished I could go into His presence and receive the feeling that I then had in His presence, I would give everything that I am or ever hope to be!”
(Melvin J. Ballard—Crusader for Righteousness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, p. 65–66.)

My questions for you are: Have you had experiences like this? What were your feelings? Is such male-on-male smiling, hugging and kissing appropriate in other contexts? If so, when? The first time I witnessed two men I know kiss on the lips was only a few years ago. The kiss was between a dying father and his adult son. I later held the dying man's hand while his wife and son were out of the room. I'm not sure I would have done so if I had not witnessed the kiss he exchanged with his son. Have you had experiences like this? What were your feelings? What can we moho's learn from such experiences?