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Note from Carolyn: Today is a very special, long-awaited day for Meridian Magazine and me. Like nearly everyone I know, I am close to dear ones whose family challenges with mental health issues define every hour of every day and have for many years. It is heartbreaking to see how these mood and behavior disorders alter the course of not just the afflicted, but their entire family. I have come to know it is next to impossible to find and stick with any kind of support or aid, including medicine. Gaining some kind of successful grasp on real life, work, school, family, etc. is a constant roller coaster.

How I have yearned to provide some kind of real support for them! Now I can with the Amare products.

For the past year, I have known about these mental wellness products that are being introduced to Meridian readers today. I have been able to read the testimonials for tremendous changes in the daily-life functioning for adults and children! I have been able to meet Rich Higbee and sat in with him and Maurine Proctor for the tender interview that you can read today. If the life (and family) of someone you love is stretched to the breaking point with mental health or difficult health issues, please, please, please read the article and check out the brief outline of the all-natural, science-based, clinically-proven mental wellness products at our website, www.ReliefandHope.com, You can also call my long-time friend Mike Kentrolis directly at 877-842-9270 to learn more about the dramatic, life-changing results for individuals and families.

I, like you, a week after General Conference, am still basking in the glow. There was so much for each of us personally and as a Church. And isn’t that the essence of the Gospel? It is universal yet ultimately so incredibly personal.

For me, one of the most touching, poignant and memorable talks was Elder Ballad, delivering his truly inspired (both in content and timing) talk on the 100th Anniversary of the Vision of the Redemption of the Dead. Though the talk was prepared weeks in advance, he delivered this eloquent address just five days after the passing of his beloved wife, Barbara – and 24 hours before her funeral. How he did this with perfect composure is a testimony to me of the heavenly support our General Authorities receive.

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, how we rejoice in all three stages of the Plan Of Salvation! Earth life, with a mortal body, is Act II. Although much is known about Pre-Earth Life, (Act I) and the After-Life, (Act III) our job in Act II is to maximize the blessings and opportunities (for both now and the hereafter) that a mortal body brings in terms of choices and action, consequences and rewards.

Truly, could anything in this world matter more than safeguarding the health and condition of our mortal bodies to the best of our abilities? It is the vehicle and precision tool upon which our ultimate destiny depends! Furthermore, we believe that our spirits will be reunited with that same body at the time of resurrection! Though our bodies may age, decline and ultimately pass away, they will be returned and restored to us as they were in the prime of life.

(I think this is one of the reasons why my article from a couple of weeks ago, where the young missionary’s mother visited him from other side of the veil was so intriguing. She appeared to him as a beautiful, strong adult woman, confirming to me that this is how we will be in the next life and for the duration of eternity after resurrection.)

Wilford Woodruff, on teaching of the power of the Priesthood and its blessings reaching into the eternities, said:  “These are the true riches; they are riches that will last to all eternity, and we have power through these blessings, conferred by the Gospel, to receive our bodies again and to preserve our identity in eternity. Yes, we can claim this by virtue of the holy Priesthood.”

I have been inspired by the next part of this talk for many years and am posting it for myself today:

Oh Death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the gift of God is eternal life, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” This doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is most glorious.

It is comforting, at least to my spirit, to think, that, in the morning of the resurrection, my spirit will have the privilege of dwelling in the very same body that it occupied here. As Elders of Israel we have traveled a great many thousand miles in weariness and fatigue, laboring to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the children of men. I would be very glad to have the same body in the resurrection with which I waded swamps, swam rivers and traveled and labored to build up the kingdom of God here.” (Read more in the Journal of Discourses)

This is lofty but also extremely practical as it pertains immediately and daily to making healthy eating and weight/exercise choices! Yes indeed, to a great extent, I believe the care we have taken of our body and its adventures and experiences will be reflected in our memories and affections at the time of our resurrection. I like this quote so much that I created a graphic to remind myself that I want to be excited, as Wilford Woodruff was, for the day my body, yes the very one from this earth, and spirit are reunited. I want to be happy in remembering all that it has experienced and to truly welcome it when I see it after the separation that death temporarily brings.

It’s here for you now and I hope you’ll right-click-save-as to put on a mirror or in the kitchen or wherever you want to inspire daily, small healthy eating choices.

Will I be able to say the same thing of my own life and body when it’s time to pick it up again?  Will I be glad? I want to be like Wilford Woodruff: glad and happy to see THE BODY THAT I HAVE NOW, the great gift from my Heavenly Father that has provided my mortal experience At that time I want to see it and welcome it with love, gratitude, respect and affection. I’m not getting weird or compulsive, just thoughtful and planning for the future! Even the eternal future :0)

As I am launching a new reading of the Book of Mormon as President Nelson asked the sisters of the Church to do, as I start to re-listen to the sessions (especially the Saturday Night Session for the Sisters) and as I commit to be in tune with the Spirit for personal revelation, I want to understand and embrace this truth: our bodies are not temporary or disposable! We are what we eat! The health we personally nurture for ourselves becomes the physical health and strength to give, serve, love and fill the measure of our creations.

Like birth, repentance and death, it is not something that someone can do for us, but a solo journey of choices and attitudes that make a difference. What will be restored to us will be in a glorified, magnified, purified form … but when our time comes for the great reunion of our body and spirit, will we greet that physical body as Wilford Woodruff did with gladness and memories of respect and appreciation? Or regret that we were not wiser with our time and recognizing the deceitful foods and snacks that rob of us of true health?

With those thoughts in mind, I urge us again to study the Word of Wisdom and Jane Birch’s authoritative and incredibly researched book and Meridian magazine articles: “Discovering The Word of Wisdom.” She has now sold, on her own, without benefit of anyone promoting it for her, over 10,000 copies of this incredible gem that is filled with the truths of how the Lord would have us prepare our bodies for the next life.

As we re-re read the Book of Mormon, there are many, many references to the importance of the mortal body. We can highlight those verses as we discover them on this end-of-year Book of Mormon read through to inspire our daily health choices! With those thoughts deeply in my heart and mind, here’s our new favorite healthy recipe for fall, a delicious lentil soup with both sweet and white potatoes that is also absolutely divine!

LENTIL CROCKPOT SOUP

Ingredients:
2 cups white potatoes, unpeeled and chopped
2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups carrots, sliced
2 cups kale or spinach, loosely chopped
1 cup celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
¾ cup lentils
¾ cup red lentils
¼ cup olive oil (optional)
3 cloves garlic, chopped.
2 packages of Lipton onion soup mix
2 Veggie Bouillon cubes
10 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large crockpot.  Cook on low for 10-12 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours.
Makes 8-10 glorious servings.

Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success, One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life. She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She and her husband, Bob, are the parents of five children and grandparents of eleven. They are now happy empty nesters in Jackson, Tennessee, close to Memphis, where they center their business for Meridian Magazine Reader’s favorite herbal detox: My Miracle Detox.