Monday, February 05, 2007

I had a dream last night that troubled me. The symbolic nature of it is clear to me now. It may not apply to anyone else, but I know it applies to me and my family.

My family and I had traveled (in the dream) to a popular vacation spot. Initially the days were pleasant. We had unpacked our many belongings and were enjoying the crystal blue skies and lush vegetation.

After some time, though, we began to notice things that felt odd. At certain times of day, people staying in the same resort seemed to take on a nervousness and reluctance to go outside. I began watching, feeling an oddness myself. There was a distinct feeling of danger in the air, but nothing I could pinpoint.

Finally I asked. The answer seemed ludicrous at first. "Because of the dinosaurs," came the reply.

"Dinosaurs!" I wanted to exclaim. But nobody seemed to think it odd that dinosaurs were once again roaming the earth. In fact, the people around us, although uneasy, seemed intent on nurturing relationships with the unpredictable animals.

I began to see periodic glimpses of the dangerous creatures through the windows. I could stand the danger no longer and was quite puzzled why the others seemed not bothered by associating with such creatures. Periodically an individual would be eaten by the beasts, a T-rex or another sort, and again, no-one seemed to take much notice.

Not me! I took notice!

In the dream, I began in a fluster to try to pack us up. But we had brought so many things, we had so many material goods, that it was taking me better than a day to try to cram everything back into the suitcases. My shaking hands didn't help, nor did the roaming nature of my younger kids--continually curious at what was going on outside our resort room.

Just before nearly finishing with my packing and feeling so frustrated that no-one else seemed to sense the urgency of the situation, a young teenage girl strolled into my room. She had a bottle in her hand and appeared to be drunk. Eventually the bottle spilled onto the coverlet of the hotel bed. Now I was going to have to clean that too before leaving! And instead of being wine, she had been drinking shampoo with small amounts of alcohol in it.

Suddenly I realized the significance of the dream and woke up.

I realized that in many ways those dinosaurs and the acceptance of them as "fun" (and worthy of relationship building) symbolized today's society. People around us seem intent on accepting that which is really dangerous. And if someone falls "prey" to society's "dinosaurs" (symbolically sharp-teethed and clawed), people noncholantly shrug and continue on their way, as if nothing has happened.

Here is a link to an excellent example of one of society's roaming "T-Rex's", sharp-teethed and clawed, roaming to destroy...yet so many walk near and pretend not to notice.

Upon awaking, I also understood the significance of the young girl drinking alcohol-laced shampoo. The situation had seem so irretractable--she had been in so much despair at the difficulty of fleeing the resort without getting eaten up by the dinosaurs--she'd given in and was trying to die by drinking the shampoo.


Although this dream was only significant perhaps for me and no-one else--awaking I knew there was significance in it for me (I'm often taught this way through the spirit...perhaps it's because I'm so terribly right brained!)--the importance of the message is universal. We can go through life "asleep at the wheel", paying no heed to society's conditions and/or situations. Or we can pay attention and prepare for that which is to come.

I prefer to do the second.

In the dream, I'd brought so much junk with me that I was not able to flee quickly. This has taught me to re-evaluate that which is important.

In the dream, I'd initially had been slow to define the danger. I'd sensed it but downplayed it just like everyone else. Society's influence had been a bit too potent. Society's opinion had held too much sway. This has taught me to ignore the pundants on TV, the "experts", the strong-opinioned. Instead, my hand is in the Lord's and on my scriptures.

In the dream, the young girl drinking the shampoo symbolized those about me who may despair as world conditions deepen in intensity. Those of us who have scriptural assurance of how to proceed need to help those whose hearts are failing them.

The signs of the times may be subtle if a person is not willing to see them, but for those who want to be ready when Christ comes, the hue and outline of the signs of the times will become brighter, clearer, and more urgent as we are willing to see and act upon them.


Tip: Floor Plan

There are many different kinds of emergencies. And no family will experience all. Yet I have known individuals whose homes have burned to the ground. I have known individuals who have been lost in the woods. Etc., etc. I'm sure you know individuals who have had a variety of setbacks or sudden emergencies.

Since we don't know what we might encounter in this life, preparing calmly will help bring peace if and when a tough situation sets in.

One of the fun things a family can do is to practice drawings maps of their house. Do this for a family night and make it fun. Let the kids practice their map making skills and then color and decorate their maps. Display them on the fridge, etc.

But behind the fun, there is a theory. That which we draw out will stay in our mind, even when under great duress.

You might be surprised how stress can stymie a mind. For example, a woman who worked for the Red Cross for 17 years teaching emergency preparedness forgot the number 911 when she discovered her own home was on fire. She'd taught this number for 17 years!

Thus, if your family woke up in the middle of the night to a raging house fire, it might not be surprising to find a family member stymied by the fear and completely forgetting where the exits are to the home. But picturing in their MIND the map they'd drawn previously in a fun activity potentially could help see them through to safety.

Tip: For this week's family night together, draw maps of the home with safe escapes (at least two different ones).

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Quote: President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

“First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously. …

“Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow.

“Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little.

“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.” (President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., in Conference Report, Apr. 1937, p. 26.)