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Backdoor Liahona Miracles
By Carolyn Allen


My mother’s parents, Lottie Corless and Gordon S. Brewerton, lived directly across from the Cardston, Alberta Canada temple and the Stake Center . Their beautiful front door and porch faced the temple grounds. This front door opened into a sunny and lovely little sitting room where Grandma had her most special things. When I was old enough to enter the temple, I remember it feeling a lot like Grandma’s sitting room.

Grandpa served as a Stake President for many years. In those days of the Church (the late 40’s and 50’s), Apostles and General Authorities came often for Stake Conferences and stayed with them. The harsh Canadian winters and frequent snowstorms meant that more than once these inspired men got snowed in and stayed for quite a bit longer than scheduled . Perhaps that’s why as a little girl, I remember a feeling of great reverence for the front door and little sitting room. I was sure that that was where these men, called of God, had come and gone from during their stays, and had perhaps relaxed a bit on snowy days.

As for me? I don’t think I ever remember using the front door or sitting in the sitting room. The back door, off the driveway with the carpeted steps leading up to the kitchen and bedrooms was the one we always used, the one my mother and aunt used in their growing up years throughout the 20’s and the Great Depression there in Cardston. (They built this precious home in about 1925 and Grandma lived there until her death 1981, at which time it was sold to some temple workers.)

grandparentsGrandma and Grandpa, my mom and brothers and sisters. The front door is to the right. To the left is the little driveway that leads to the side of the house and the backdoor. That’s me in Grandpa’s arms.


Though Grandma and Grandpa have both been dead for many years, through the comings and goings of that simple back door have come their large posterity: two daughters, 11 grandchildren, and well over 50 great grandchildren, all living good and righteous lives, with many missions, temple marriages, noble service in callings large and small … This is reason for eternal rejoicing indeed.

How often is that the story of our lives? Though there may be a few heralded events that arrive through grand front doors, the common events of daily living and the experiences that make up a life evolve pretty much from rather unremarkable comings and goings through the backdoor.

In the Book of Mormon, Alma shares his “backdoor” perspective on the Liahona.

Though he, of course, did not have the experience of traveling in the wilderness guided by the Liahona, he knew well from his wicked youth, the darkness of being off-track and living without the blessings of the Lord.

Hear what he says to his son Helaman:


There cannot any man work after the manner so curious a workmanship as the Liahona. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.

And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold it was done! Therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.

Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means ( backdoors? ) it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey,

Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst because of their transgressions …

Oh, my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers, for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us The way is prepared, and if we will look, we may live forever..( Alma 39:46)


In a most remarkable way, our bodies are similar to the Liahona; curious and miraculous in both workmanship and function, they operate each and every day on very simple principles of faith, diligence and obedience. Take for example, our feet!

sensorypointsSmallClick to Enlarge

The organs of our bodies have their sensory points at the bottom of our feet. The nerves that connect to these organs terminate here. Is this not incredible?!

This diagram shows the acupressure points and the organs that are affected when pressure is applied. In other words, simply by walking these organs are blessed! Talk about a back door miracle!

(I know this to be true from personal experience: When our daughter Emily had jaw surgery and could not breathe through her mouth because her jaws were wired shut, I massaged the point for the sinus and nasal passages, and watched her breathing capacity increase. It’s easy to get a book at the library that will show you these techniques.)

Though winter is upon us and the weather may not be great for walking outdoors, there is ample opportunity to be up and doing, whether it’s walking the mall, or in place in front of the TV with a Leslie Sanson DVD or a good movie. For us, even as in Alma ‘s counsel to Helaman: the way is prepared! There is simply no easier or better way to exercise than to walk!

In fact, in the book I quoted last week, “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry S. Lody, walking actively each and every day is a key chemical and literal message to our brains that life is good, that we are alive and want to continue living.

Today’s assignment is easy: Let’s spend a minute and memorize Alma ‘s counsel while we tie on our shoes and just get walking!

“Oh, _______________________________ put in your own name in the blank) do not let be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers, for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us The way is prepared, and if we will look, we may live forever..” ( Alma 37:46)

Hooray for backdoor liahona miracles!


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