Little Lambs and Times and Seasons Check-ups

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Dorr

It has been an interesting few weeks. Recently, we returned home from welcoming our granddaughter back from her LDS mission in California. Most of our family was able to come to spend time with Ashley as she adjusted to civilian life. We then spent a few days with daughter Laurel and Easter week with our other daughter Heather before heading back to Missouri so Newell could join his family in Ohio to witness the totality of the solar eclipse on April 8.

Photo by NASA

The weekend after Easter we fed our spirits and minds by watching the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Serendipitously timed like the gatherings of ancient Israel for the Feasts of The Passover and Tabernacles, if you have not experienced the peace, timeless wisdom and heavenly advice that watching conference brings, I invite you to click the link above. Then prepare to be enlightened, stretched and challenged by the words spoken by the prophets of these latter days.

A new Apostle, Patrick Kearon from the United Kingdom, gave a message that “God’s intent is to bring you home.” It was particularly interesting; if you have any questions about whether Heaven knows you and cares for your life and eternal existence, please listen to this message.

A few days after Newell returned from Ohio with his mother, we were hosting our writer’s group and I served this delicious apple cake to our friends. Then 4 days later, we were ready to head to the Kansas City zoo for an outing. When we opened the garage to leave, it was raining too hard to drive safely. Minutes later the dreaded wail of a tornado siren rent the air. This was our first daytime tornado warning. Sheltering in place seemed like the best option, so we gathered in the lowest level of the house, away from windows. After a while the blaring stopped… momentarily.

Then another siren wailed. I am grateful for the warning but not the reason behind it. We prayed that if it was God’s will, our house and the homes of our friends and neighbors would be spared. And then we waited. eventually the siren quieted and we decided, not knowing how likely it was for another storm to pop up, that it would be safer to stay home for the rest of the day.

Some good came of this experience. We will improve our emergency prep so it is more organized and more accessible for a quick get-away if needed. We learned that a Level 1 tornado had formed near the Smithville Lake and there had been property damage but no injury to humans. Latter-day revelations known as the “Doctrine and Covenants, tell us in section 88:

119 aOrganize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a bhouse, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;

120 That your aincomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with buplifted hands unto the Most High.

I read recently that the practice of holding our hands up in worship in Christian churches is much like a child, lifting their hands to their father to pick them up and securely hold them. When nature is in commotion and you realize you are helpless to do anything more, humbly asking your Father in Heaven for assistance is a good idea. He answered our requests for safety, for which we are grateful.

We have been warned to prepare in these last days for wars, severe weather, famine and pestilence. People ask, why would God allow this? throughout history He has used natural elements to teach and correct His beloved children. We also know that it is in the absence of God that these things can occur. Keeping the 10 Commandments gives us protection from the evil and chaos that are constantly around us.

I read a discussion lately about the darkness that covered the earth as Christ was left alone in his dying moments on the cross. Many people believe that His taking upon Himself the sins of the world, caused His Father to withdraw His presence. God cannot have the slightest bit of sin in His Presence.

Painting by Heinrich Hoffman

By undergoing the weight of the sin, brutality and depravity of the all people from the beginning of time to the end, Christ literally descended into Hell and opened the gates to free all of us if we would turn to Him and repent. For this act of charity He was known as the Lamb of God. The Sacrificial Being from whom justice demanded every farthing so mercy could claim us.

As you ponder the meaning of the signs in the skies, eclipses, blood moons, falling stars and disasters, please take time to prepare yourself for the “Great Day of the Lord” that has been promised since the beginning of mankind on the earth. Natural disasters have increased since the Civil War as was prophesied in Doctrine and Covenants 87. It’s not man-made climate change, these are warnings and invitations to get our houses in order. Don’t delay. Click here to get contact information to meet with LDS missionaries to learn more.

Here’s a happy thought and idea for sharing charity with others. When we returned from our travels, I wrapped up the photography for my Christmas book; the last project was to create a “baby shower” with the theme of little lambs. It is said that when Christ was born and placed in a manger, that it was probably made of stone, a vessel used by priests to place newborn sacrificial lambs in to protect them from blemishes, scars and other imperfections and injuries.

For the lambie baby shower, I suggested inviting guests to bring infant gifts that could be given to shelters or families in need. These days a trend is to give diapers to mothers or cash to help with expenses. This shower could be done at Christmastime, Eastertime or for any gathering of disciples. I also made an apple cake with cream cheese frosting that is a popular Jewish recipe, you’ll find it below. Be of good cheer, do your best to prepare, then watch in wonder and awe at the events that unfold to usher in 1,000 years of peace and knowledge and all anchored in the presence of Jesus the Christ.

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

            In a large mixing bowl, stir together

¼ C butter melted

¼ C applesauce

2 large eggs

1 ¾ C sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract 

           In another bowl, stir together then add to creamed ingredients

1 C whole wheat flour

1 C all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 ¾ tsp ground cinnamon

1 ¼ tsp ground nutmeg


4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced into small pieces

1 C pecans or walnuts, chopped  

           Spread evenly in a 9” x 13” pan or two 8” rounds which have been greased and lined with parchment. Bake the 9” x 13” cake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Bake the 2 rounds for 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. If you used the rounds, run a knife around the inside of the rims and carefully remove. Spread with Cream Cheese Frosting; sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired.

 Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat with an electric mixer until smooth

12 oz. Neufchatel cheese

6 TBSP (3/4 stick) butter, softened

3 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 pounds of powdered sugar


½ C chopped nuts (optional)

Spread on cooled cake. Swirl curly designs in the frosting to make it look like lamb’s wool.

This recipe quickly became a favorite, we will enjoy it again. I hope you’ll try it too.

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