Heavenly Father’s Children

As I was reviewing some of John’s older posts, I remembered an experience I had with John many years ago. Back in Alaska, John and I attended church at the same building but at different times. One Sunday, I bumped into John in the hallway as I walked out of a room. He looked at me for a few seconds and said, “What have you been doing? Your countenance is so bright.” I told him I had just given a blessing. He commented that the person whom I had blessed must have been a special person.
The person was indeed special but not in the way we might think. In fact, this person rarely came to church; he smoke and drank and struggled as many of us do with the weaknesses of the flesh. I can’t even recall why he came to church that particular Sunday. But, he did ask for a blessing.

As I laid my hands on this man’s head, I was privileged to be shown a glimpse of his premortal life: he was a mighty man there–a leader of what seemed to be tens of thousands. I saw him there in the premortal world on a hill testifying of the Father’s plan. It seemed that many thousands of Father’s children listened intently to his powerful testimony. I was taken aback and humbled as this information came to me. I had a new understanding of who this man really was.

With tears running down my cheeks, I pronounced a blessing from our Father in Heaven upon him. This man was told that he was a mighty spirit in the premortal life, and because of all he did in heaven, he would be taken care of in this life and the next. The love of the Savior for this brother was almost more than I could bear as I felt it come to him through the blessing.
His wife was also in the room during that experience. She, too, was inactive. When the blessing was over, she stared in disbelief first at me and then at her husband. She struggled to believe that what she heard was true, but she felt the spirit so strongly she could not deny it.

I learned something that day which has always stayed with me. I need to treat everyone I meet as special brothers and sisters from heaven, because they really are. Here was this man struggling to overcome many of this world’s vices—simply fighting to stay alive. His outward appearance was a sharp contrast to my new view of him gained from a brief glimpse of his premortal life where he was held in such high esteem by our Heavenly Father as one of His royal sons.
As I go through this Christmas season and throughout the coming year, I pray to remember and live that lesson: To treat everyone as the Savior would, as if they are royalty. It is life changing to act like the Savior in everything we do. The best way to start and continue this journey is to follow the Spirit and take it as our constant guide. It is as simple as that.


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16 Responses to Heavenly Father’s Children

  1. Jeanene Custer says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I too am like the man in the story with a great belief that I was a leader in the preexistence. And like the man struggle daily with sins of the flesh if you get any further input please share, Charles C.

    On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM, UnBlogmysoul


  2. carol says:

    This post is a wonderful lesson to ponder…we are all here upon this earth at this time for a reason..many of us cross paths of someone..maybe it was just that one second of kindness you gave or they gave to us that planted a seed of hope in ones heart that down the road caused one of us to take the better way..and just maybe his or hers or our testimony is that i met a person once that was kind to me or took time for me that changed my life and made me want to be a better person..or gave me cause to not give up…
    just a thought as i read this post..thank you for sharing your experience.


  3. darrell brashear says:

    That is a beautiful post brother Shayne. I remember many years ago (I think it was late 1997), my brother informed me that he had come across a book that was life-changing. He said it was written by a man named John Pontius, and that it was called “Following The Light of Christ Into His Presence”.

    After he read it, he loaned it to me and I read it. One of the things that amazed me so much was the testimonies on the back of the book. Your testimony stoked a desire in me that I had never felt before. I have read it to many others in the years since that time. It made me think of the scripture that states that in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

    Once again there are other witnesses to the spiritual blessings available that have been mentioned in this unblog. As I read these things, I feel a lot of hope: Brother John’s words have brought me a lot of comfort and a great desire for spiritual things, and the wonderful thing is I continue to feel that when I read your posts along with Brother Spencer’s and Brother Eric’s.

    I don’t say these things to put you brothers on a pedestal; I say these things as an expression of my love and gratitude to the Lord for bringing people into my life to help bring me back to Him.

    I truly believe in the pre-existence that we all promised each other that we would look after each other here. We knew it would be difficult being away from our Heavenly Home, but because of the love we had for each other we would bring a part of heaven with us. That part of heaven is the loving and serving each other here. You brethren along with brother John are fulfilling that promise. I thank you.
    Brother D.


  4. Brenda says:

    May I copy and use this blog post for the many precious, lowly in heart, and wounded in spirit people that I work with in psychotherapy? I know it will lift them.


  5. Elder & Sister Stroud says:

    Thanks Shayne. Reminds me of the experience John had . These two experiences will also enable me to continue to look at people not as they appear, but as the people they have the potential to “re-become.”
    Elder Stroud


  6. TKL says:

    Thank you for sharing this vision of the man you blessed. I am continually amazed at what minute details Heavenly Father answers my prayers. Our brothers and sisters are truly more than what our temporal eyes see. May we all seek opportunities to bless and uplift their eyes that they may be partakers of the heavenly gift.


  7. Donald says:

    Ditto. Thank you Shayne. A remarkable experience. I wish we could share more of these experiences among ourselves.


  8. karen says:

    I for one believe that we all feel this way from time to time. Like we are nothing special and easily looked past. I know that I often feel like my vices define me and cause me to be less than I believe Heavenly Father sees in me. It is good to remember that although some great and powerful spirits are called to lead, some are given great gifts of vision, and some are put here to do mighty miracles, others of us are just regular folk with great desire but in an unseen venue and with unseen fan fair. Some day the whole picture will be known and the great and mighty may not be who we all thought they were. Just maybe they will be those people behind the scenes that no one noticed, with me great gift but humility and love for the Lord.


  9. Ciellle says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. I wonder if you could be more precise about the feeling you had that this person will be “taken care of” in this life and the next? What does it mean to be “taken care of?” Thank you.


  10. Ashley says:

    Wow! Thank you brother Shayne. This brought tears to my eyes. I believe what you say. Thank you for sharing such a special experience. How often we as mortals will judge a book by its imperfect cover and deem it to be something less than it is. My heart and prayers go out to brother John during this time of transition. I am happy for him to be able to have another calling on the other side of the veil. I look forward to being able to meet him some day and thank him in person for all he has unknowingly done for me. I am also very happy that the unblog will continue in the same spirit and purpose as before. I look forward to reading more inspired words from you Shayne and from Eric and (Spencer) as well. Thank you all for taking on this great responsibility as it will be a blessing to many.



  11. Vicki says:

    Thanks! That brightened my day.


  12. Theresa Cowden says:

    Shane, I was in Bro P’s ward for many years in AK and he was my HT and my celestial messenger from God for 2 years in Institute. I did meet you breifly in Wasilla when I visited him in 1998 for a PH blessing for my tooth as I was traveling a month in Wasilla with my 5 kids for the summer.

    I too had an experience like yours in knowing how HF feels towards his children who make less than celestial choices. I was in the Laie temple yesterday, I try to go most every day, and the lady near me was an old high school teacher of my son’s whom I had to go to bat with to get my son out of her class. She was and is a Bishop’s wife for years and a temple attender all along, but swears and uses profanity all day in her classes and is also a bully to the students in cruel ways. I have just avoided her in the community instead of trying to judge her when I don’t want to even get to know her because she is so prickly to be around. (Very raw language and Scroogish). But here she was in the session and I saw her in a different light. Not that she has changed, but I have progressed to feel love for her. I felt the Spirit of Christ so much this month that I feel like I’m on what Bro P used to call a “rocketship” of spiritual heights that take one’s breath away. I have been on the Lord’s errands for weeks now with obediences to the promptings to serve those around me. I felt so much compassion for this woman as I was in the session with her and felt what the atonement would feel like, for those who are struggling to be kind and happy in their own lives, when ever they choose to accept it. I really felt a love for her with a total lack of judgment and was pleased to know how HF loves us all and waits for us to find our way back when we are ready. She went up to the prayer circle and at one time I would have had to sit it out for the lack of good feelings towards her in the circle. This time I was able to partake fully of the prayer circle and just beam with love for her and all mankind. We are all struggling with sin in different levels and areas like Pres Uchdorf said about his bumper sticker friend. This is one of the Christmas miricals that I will remember for years to come. I will fellowship this teacher now instead of avoiding her in and around the community.

    That’s how to have a Merry Christmas, put Christ first and people’s shortcomings last.

    Sister Theresa Cowden
    Bro P calls me Sister C.


  13. Steve says:

    Thank you, Shayne.

    I’ve come to a similar conclusion, that I am not sufficiently wise to judge others or myself. That the best thing I can do is to love and serve others. That we have no idea the challenges we and others agreed to endure here.



  14. Rena Burkhardt says:

    Brother Shayne,
    Thank you for sharing this sweet experience!!! It reminds us all that we are special whether we are feeling it or not. That we need to strive every single day to be who we are and who we were meant to be. And to comfort and love each of our brothers and sisters, no matter who or where they are at any given moment. That is my wish this Christmas Season!


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