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Betty, will we all see Jesus when we die?

Only God knows for sure. I've read many letters and accounts of those who had a near-death experience and visited heaven as I did. Some did not believe in Jesus before their experience—yet met him anyway and recognized him immediately. Others did believe in Jesus while here but met someone else. We must trust our Heavenly Father's plan and will.

I believe we will all meet Jesus eventually. In the mean time, until our appointed time in this life is complete—we can reach for greater understanding of our Savior and his teachings. We can prayerfully replace our fears with trust in God and his will for us, knowing he is over all things and has the perfect plan for us. As we gain greater knowledge of God's unconditional love and eternal plan for his children, we will find our fears begin to dissipate and can look forward to the time when we are blessed to meet Jesus.

"Of all knowledge, however, there is none more essential than knowing Jesus Christ. I was told that he is the door through which we will all return. He is the only door through which we can return. Whether we learn of Jesus Christ here or while in the spirit, we must eventually accept him and surrender to his love."
—Embraced By The Light, page 85

 
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Answered Questions
How Can We Improve Our Ability to Connect with Family and Friends? How Can We Overcome Anger?
Will we see Jesus when we die? What about hell?

Betty, if everyone just automatically goes to heaven, then why did Jesus Christ come into this world?

Clearly, there must be punishment for our sins.Question: in the end, does God forgive all sins no matter how big or small?

If there is no hell, wouldn't the Bible be wrong? And then, wouldn't God be wrong since the Bible is God's word? Please enlighten me on this because I'm living in fear of the afterlife.

My brother died without receiving the last sacrament. It still bothers me not knowing if he is reconciled with God.


How can I go on after my loss?
Will I know my loved ones when I die?
This was my first Christmas without my mother. I miss her so very much. Betty, will I be with her again?
Do our pets go to heaven?
Betty, what's it like in heaven?
Trials & Difficulty
Betty, my life is so difficult! How can I find strength?
Dearest Betty, sometimes I feel so alone! How can I feel God’s love? Dearest Betty, If God has all power, then why does Satan have power over our spirit?

Why do we have to battle evil?

So much seems wrong with our world today. How do we battle evil?
Betty, my dad lived such a hard life, but he was an angel to us. Why do good people sometimes have so many trials?
Abundance Miscellaneous
When in heaven you learned that we can literally open the windows of heaven for creative inspiration and abundance. How do we do that? Betty, my question concerns homosexuality. Due to my Christian upbringing, I have struggled with my identity as a gay person my entire life. Do you have any insight on this subject?

My friend is not sure God exists yet says he sees spirits and guardian angels, and I believe him. Betty, is it wrong that I easily believe these things?

How does a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ know what is God inspired and what is not concerning the Holy Bible?

Could you please explain reincarnation? I’ve been told that we come back here repeatedly for the same painful lessons.

 

Prayer
Sometimes I don't think God answers my prayers. How can I tell mine are answered?
Child Abuse
As a young boy I was molested by a priest. What will happen to these priests when they die? Will God treat them the same as us or will they be punished for their wrong doing?
 
How Can We Improve Our Ability to
Connect with Family and Friends?

Dearest Betty,
Thank you for coming back to earth and for sharing what you were taught in heaven and about the importance of our relationships with family and loved ones. Yet technology seems to be taking over and often gets in the way. Do you have any insight on how to deal with this?

"God began to place in my life people who carried spiritual energy that could sustain me along the way. I had been shown during my experience that we draw energy from each other—some people we receive energy from and some draw energy from us—in a constant exchange.”—The Awakening Heart, page 102

Often we feel overwhelmed by the multitude of distractions in this world of technology and find ourselves turning to computers for everything—excluding more and more time with the essence of human touch and authentic communication with our fellow man. We turn to easy access in our communications, texting or leaving a comment on a facebook page and then sometimes get interrupted and forget to answer all together. These new technologies are a blessing that we want to take full advantage of and use to our fullest benefit, however, they are no replacement for the touch of a hand, a soft kiss on a cheek, a loving embrace or even the vibrant connection we often feel at hearing a dear one's voice.

When we make the time to give quality attention to our loved ones, energy penetrates as it flows from one person to another, opening the way for our spirit to expand and become strengthened, not unlike our relationship with our Heavenly Father through prayer, which is our personal touch with him. Our personal, physical connection, one-on-one with each other, is invaluable when it comes to our children. As parents, we never know when a child or loved one may need our help, and when that time comes, we want them to know they can come to us and express their heart and thoughts while being able to listen and be receptive too. This takes practice, it takes nurturing a physical and emotional connection. It takes more than a text message or facebook post. As we spend less and less time with our children, mobile devices and other computerized technology, become the child's focus, the child's educator, the child's emotional attachment—and they become addicted. It takes genuine effort spent on connecting one-on-one and as a family, through quality time spent together and gestures of love.

Our gestures of love are like deeds of faith. The Bible tells us that "Faith without works is dead." From our thoughts and desires, seeds are planted. We nurture these seeds with our deeds, our loving actions: a kind word, a reassuring smile, giving of ourselves.

While in the spirit world, I saw that God is Love and Love is giving! Our goal should always be "to have the mind of Christ." And our actions should reflect his loving essence, always! To be Christ like is to set the greatest example of all! We can be confident that as we lend our energy and prayers for others, our growth and direction are connected to a higher plan.

Take the time to build and nurture your bonds with family and loved ones. Put your best foot forward for the strangers that come in and out of your life. Be that example of compassion and kindness for others that will teach your children well. Truly communicate with your loved ones and especially connect with God. Sometimes the most effective lesson for our children is when they listen to us earnestly and lovingly talk to our Heavenly Father.

In summary, fill your life with uplifting words in your physical communication with your children. Do not allow their influence to be left up to the world and its devices. God is well pleased with our commitment to raising our children under his guidance within our individual families. And when our children are grown, we will feel the reward of our efforts many times increased as those loving ripples from our children come back to bless us many fold!

How Can One Overcome Anger?

Hi precious Betty. I've read your first two books and am now beginning The Ripple Effect. Your story has deeply touched me. I resonate with your message whole heartedly. Do you have any insights or truth that might help someone dealing with anger?

In this world of billions of people, many lead lives of loneliness and desperation. Because of pain produced by others, some protect themselves behind walls of anger or fear, lashing out at or retreating from others. God has shown me that the precious cure for their pain lies within each soul. The cure…is honest and pure love. God's love. Unconditional love. It resides within each of us naturally at our beginning.”—The Ripple Effect, page xvi

Anger is just an emotion and is a natural and instinctive state of mind derived from circumstances or relationships with others. It is distinguished from reasoning and knowledge because it is intuitive, in that, it is sent up from the subconscious mind. Our reaction to anger is based upon a whole array of factors—that are rooted in our past. Until the root of the anger is discovered, recognized and acknowledged, healing will not begin and anger will continue to surface when similar circumstances are triggered. One might look for the root of their anger by asking themselves: "When did this start?" "Why did this make me angry?" "How is this similar to something in my past?" "Were there environmental factors?" "Was I harmed or did I perceive misdeeds done toward me in some way?" "Was something left 'undone' leaving a lack of closure at an early age?"

Usually when one is challenged by anger the root is in their early childhood. Sometimes it can begin even in the womb where the fetus is aware of outside conflict and negative emotions. And as a child, we feel frustrated that we cannot stop the situation causing the fear and harm. We are angry at those causing us to fear and angry at ourselves for not being able to stop the harm we perceive—both must be forgiven. We must forgive those who we felt harmed us and forgive ourselves for not being able to change the situation in order to be able to move forward from the past and heal.

Fear is always a part of the root of anger. Fear leads to guilt and guilt leads to shame. All lead to frustration and frustration leads to anger. Frustration is the inability to handle a particular situation and can produce intense emotion buried for years but will eventually surface since feelings buried alive never die. Thus a cycle is started of intense emotion that builds until someone explodes, releasing the pent-up energy of frustration that has accumulated. We often attribute anger to having a "temper," when in reality, anger is pent-up emotions that build until they release, a pattern that often starts in early childhood.

Our reaction is what matters! We cannot help the feelings and thoughts that "pop" into our being when something "bad" happens to us—but we can help our reaction. We can be responsible for the choices we make and choose to come from a higher place of calm that is peaceful and loving. We do this by not responding to the negative things that occur to us at first, rather, we let them come and go, pausing until calm starts to replace negativity and we are able to choose our actions rather than be driven by pent-up energy that wants to clobber instead of be loving. I remember times when I went through many reactions in my mind before I felt that calm begin to come. Thankfully I did not respond to those negative thoughts but waited until I had the ability to respond in a way that I could choose from a higher place of being, as opposed to coming from the negative thoughts generated at first.

And when anger does surface? The energy must be released in some way. What I like to do is give that negative energy a job, a useful thing to do, like house cleaning or work in the yard, which are physical ways to release pent-up energy while accomplishing something I can feel good about. And while working at whatever chore I have chosen, I start a mental gratitude list that helps what is in my head connect with my heart and spirit and with God. Gratitude is a powerful godly energy that can counteract many forms of negativity. There is magic in gratitude and as we seek our Heavenly Father's guidance, he will guide us to his will for us which is always to bless us in some way. As always, prayer is key and the following is a prayer from my Daily Devotional that can help one who is dealing with anger:

Father, when the difficulties of life make me afraid or angry, remind me that the sure and divine remedy to pain is love. Help me to find love when I need it and to magnify love by sharing it freely with others. For I know that within all your children is the healing balm of love in pure expression for one another.”—Embraced By The Light Prayers & Devotions for Daily Living, September 14

Dearest Betty, Could you please explain reincarnation? I’ve been told that we come back here repeatedly for the same painful lessons. I don’t want to be stuck here over and over! Please help!

There is a form of reincarnation but not as we understand it here. It’s like a lot of our understandings. We receive a little bit, and then because we are human, we try to make sense out of something we know very little about. We are evolving beings, each experience of life takes us to greater understanding and knowledge. But our Heavenly Father created many worlds. This world is but one, a “drop in the ocean” of his many wondrous creations!

I was told that reincarnation is simply not as we know it to be, we do not come back to this earth for repeated lives until we get it “right.” Some people get so caught up in pursuing past lives that they waste the precious opportunity of this life.

From Embraced By The Light, page 93:

I also learned that we do not have repeated lives on this earth; when we seem to “remember” a past life, we are actually recalling memories contained in the cells.

There are those who do return to this world when it serves our Heavenly Father’s purposes and they come back as teachers.

How does a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ know what is God inspired and what is not concerning the Holy Bible?

Religion is a personal matter. One’s religion, one’s faith and beliefs may be influenced by, or even dictated by, a church or other individuals. But deep down in a person’s heart of hearts, he cannot be dictated to. Each individual spirit claims the freedom to believe for himself. If we were to analyze each person’s deepest beliefs—including assumptions, guesses and hopes—we would never find two people who believe exactly the same thing, even within the same religion. The Ripple Effect, page 108

No two religions interpret the Bible the same way either. It is up to us to prayerfully “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). God is no respecter of persons and he will reveal his truths to us as we earnestly seek him. The Bible was a wonderful resource when I wrote Embraced By The Light Prayers & Devotions for Daily Living. I was able to use my favorite Bible verses as I composed each day's devotion. In my Author’s Note I give some help for prayerfully studying the Bible:

In reading the Bible verses, study their connections to the theme for that day. Be open to meanings, which may add new perspective to your traditional Bible learning. After my near-death experience, the Bible became a great lifesaver for me—more so than anyone could imagine. The Bible became my daily breath, my nearness to God, and a touchstone for my soul. Meanings that had been hidden or unclear to me before, suddenly became clear. As I applied what I learned in the spirit world, I felt excitement and surges of energy that held me captive to the Bible. I was amazed that, while I had read the Bible many times from cover to cover, I had never really understood it at all! With the knowledge and understanding that I received in heaven, the Bible came alive to me for the first time. Its writings were more heartfelt, more substantial, and more comprehendible. I could see that I had taken the Bible too literally and without spirit before. I still read and re-read it with delight! I have studied it and underlined so many verses that I had to purchase a new book just for unobstructed reading!

While it is not my purpose or desire to compare Embraced By The Light or my other writings to the Bible for scripture comparison, I most assuredly and prayerfully consider the Bible as my second source—next to God and what he has blessed me to experience and to know—as a measuring stick for all that I share. When aligned with his Spirit, I find nothing lacking, and I am at peace.

This was my first Christmas without my mother.
I miss her so very much. Betty, will I be with her again?

Some of the greatest grief, pain and heartache we feel in our mortal lives is the loss of a loved one or family member. Even when we know they are in a better place, we miss them so very much and sometimes wonder how we can go on. One of the daily devotions that I wrote can bring great comfort:

May 1st: "Love with Family and Friends Is Eternal"

“Our bonds with loved ones continue after death as they began long before birth. The love between us is eternal and does not cease simply because we cannot see the departed. Those who have passed to the other side are very much alive --more so than ever--and they are able to comfort us and send us their love. But they are also bound by laws which govern our lives and which limit their free contact with us. Yes, they care about us, about our lives and our welfare, but they must not interfere with our progression in life.”
The Ripple Effect - page 190

Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided… 2 Samuel 1:23

Father, thank you for the gift of eternal bonds with my loved ones. It is comforting to know that, when I love someone, death does not part our love. I am thankful to know that my loved ones, there with you, can hear me, see me, and know that I love them still.

Affirmation: The power of my love exists into the eternities, it never ends, it never dies.


—Embraced By The Light Prayers & Devotions for Daily Living, entry for May 1st


Yes, families are forever and we will see our loved ones again. Each tear will be turned to joy when we return to our heavenly home!

My friend is not sure God exists yet says he sees spirits and guardian angels, and I believe him. Betty, is it wrong that I easily believe these things?

We are all God's children and carry within in us many of his attributes that have developed over time—even eternities! When we come to earth, we bring with us some of the knowledge we acquired to serve God in his purpose for us, here in this world, whether we recall him or our heavenly home or not. In fact, our gifts will sometimes bring us into remembrance of him if it was in his blue-print for us to begin with, if it is his will for us to remember.


As a young boy I was molested by a priest. What will happen to these priests when they die? Will God treat them the same as us or will they be punished for their wrong doing?

This is a good question. Far too many of our youth have been molested by those they trusted and live their entire lives as wounded souls.

Perhaps the most heart-breaking tragedy of this world is the abuse of a child. Jesus himself spoke of this crime when he said, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). And in the same conversation he said, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (verse 6). Jesus was not promoting the lynch mobbing of child abusers, but he was making a clear point: Abusing children is a sin that the abuser will be gravely accountable for. —The Ripple Effect, pp. 45-46

However, we must remember that we only see through a small prism when looking at the deeds of others. God sees their wounds and why they lash out from pain. There is a root to the splash of all ripples and we cannot judge others. We must care for and protect our children and hold others to the consequences for their choices, but we must never conclude our own judgment upon anyone. Only God knows each heart, and thankfully, he loves us all and we will all eventually return to him.

In this world of billions of people, many lead lives of loneliness and desperation. Because of pain produced by others, some protect themselves behind walls of anger or fear, lashing out at or retreating from others. God has shown me that the precious cure for their pain lies within each soul. The cure, of course, is honest and pure love. God’s love. Unconditional love. It resides within each of us naturally at our beginning….everything we do touches everybody else in some way, and that as we release our love to others, we each become the vessel God has chosen from the beginning. —The Ripple Effect, p. xvi

Betty, my question concerns homosexuality.
Due to my Christian upbringing, I have struggled with my identity as a gay person my entire life.
Do you have any insight on this subject?

My heart goes out to all who are treated less than lovingly and who battle the pain of condemnation from others. I was not shown gay people in heaven because in heaven our Father’s children are not divided. There are no separations based upon race, religion, political affiliation or even sexual preference. Our place in heaven is not based on such things. We go where we are happiest and most comfortable, where we can best serve and this is based upon our spiritual growth and not the things of this world. Thus I have little to share on this subject as it relates to the spirit world, however, I do have a dear friend whom I call Will who is gay and whom I share about in the chapter, “The Courage to Live” in The Awakening Heart:

When we leave ourselves open to God to learn more about unconditional love, he readily sends us the people we need to learn to love without judgment. Sometimes our existing love is tested just so that we can see how unconditional it is. Put to the test without failure, our spirits expand with greater love, God’s pure love, and it shines brighter within us. (p.159)

Before Will told me he was gay, I grew to love him deeply and considered him one of my close friends. I remember the night that he nervously revealed this and my answer to him:

“Will, you are God’s creation, just like me and everyone else,” I offered my assurance.

“Exactly,” he replied…”I’ve thought and prayed about this a lot, and I know in my heart God made me this way.” (p. 163)

Will had suffered self-loathing, fear that he was unworthy to God and had struggled deeply with his sexual orientation before coming to realize that God loved him just as he loves everyone else. As Will shared his pain with me, I was filled with love for him:

My love for Will welled up in me, and I rejoiced in the ripple effect that his living through his troubles had set in motion, thanks to his sharing his light as generously as he always did. At the same time, it was hard for me to resist being angry, angry that the name of God had been used by others to bring a child of God to such a dark place in his life. Jesus’ message is that we are all to love one another; we are not to presume to choose which of God’s children are unworthy of his love. Only God knows the hearts of man. Any church that places itself in the seat of God, as judge, is committing what was shown to me as the greater sin by placing fear and guilt between us and God. (p.165)

I cannot know for another if they are doing God’s will, but they can know for themselves as they truly seek his will and prayerfully search their hearts for his answers. Will’s determination to overcome his pain and find God in spite of being told he was unworthy is a powerful ripple that can touch many lives helping them to find their own way to God, whatever the difficulties they face:

As for me, my love for my friend did not change; in fact, we grew closer. Will’s humility, courageous struggle, and greater love for our Father in heaven have bonded our friendship forever. (p.170) —The Awakening Heart, pages 159-170

Betty, my dad lived such a hard life,
but he was an angel to us.
Why do good people sometimes have so many trials?

It requires faith to trust God’s will for us, especially when walking through extreme challenges—yet when we are able to do this, it brings a peace to our daily lives that often is missing. The chapter called “Healing –and Dying” in Embraced helps us understand why we have struggles. Starting with page 67 :

“To my surprise I saw that most of us had selected the illnesses we would suffer, and for some, the illness that would end our lives. Sometimes healing does not come immediately, or at all, because of our need for growth. All experience is for our good and sometimes it takes what we would consider negative experience to help develop our spirits. We were very willing, even anxious, as spirits to accept all of our ailments, illnesses, and accidents here to help better ourselves spiritually. I understood that in the spirit world our earth time is meaningless. The pain we experience on earth is just a moment, just a split second of consciousness in the spirit world, and we are very willing to endure it.”

Our trials give us the opportunity to make new choices that we otherwise might not, and as we endure and overcome them, we are strengthened and find new growth. Continuing on page 69:

“Under the guidance of the Savior I learned that it was important for me to accept all experience as potentially good. I needed to accept my purpose and station in life. I could take the negative thing that had happened to me and try to overcome their effects. I could forgive my enemies, even love them, and thereby nullify any bad influence they may have had on me. I could seek good thoughts and kind words, and thus bring healing ointment to my own soul, as well as to others. I saw that I could begin to heal myself, spiritually first, then emotionally, mentally, and physically. I saw that I could spare myself the corrosive effects of despair. I had a right to live fully.”

Even our mistakes can help us find greater spiritual growth, and in looking back, we will see what they have taught us. I talk about “falling down” on page 70:

“When we fall down, we need to get up, dust ourselves off, and get moving again. If we fall down again, even a million times, we still need to keep going; we're growing more than we think. . . . We are here to learn, to experiment, to make mistakes. We don't need to judge ourselves harshly; we just need to take life one step at a time, not worrying about other people's judgment of us, nor measuring ourselves by their measuring sticks. We need to forgive ourselves and be grateful for the things that help us grow. Our most severe challenges will one day reveal themselves to be our greatest teachers.” —Embraced By The Light, pages 67-70

I believe it helps to remember that the problems we have or that we watch our loved ones go through are there for a reason. My friend, “Speaking Wind,” a Native American Shaman, would encourage us to say to our problem, “Hello my friend, welcome. What gifts have you brought me today?”

Betty, what's it like in heaven?

People often ask me about heaven. Especially after the death of a loved one, they wonder what it’s like to be in heaven.

Outside the room a glorious vista of mountains and valleys and rivers captivated me. The scene was filled with life and color and passion. I have heard the phrase “the mountains will sing at His coming.” In heaven the mountains sing endlessly. Everything has energy and tone and love. Everything is alive and alert and full of joy.

If you want a taste of heaven’s radiance, find the most serene and beautiful place you can. Reflect on it for a while and then imagine that it’s only a colorless photo negative of what is real in heaven. Gradually the faintest idea of heaven’s splendor will come through. –The Ripple Effect, page 8

We all yearn to feel a portion of God’s love and the beauty that fills everything in heaven. It is comforting to know that we will return to our Heavenly Home when our missions here on earth are completed, and to know that as loved ones depart, that the love of the Savior awaits all.

Heaven in all its glory could be summed up in one word: Christ. He is the light of creation, the joy of all life, and above all, the deepest love of our souls. To embrace him is to embrace the meaning of life and the eternal power of God. –The Ripple Effect, page 13

Dearest Betty,
If God has all power,
then why does Satan have power over our spirit?
Why do we have to battle evil?

Ultimately, the devil—or Satan—will not have power over our spirits. His eventual fate is eternal banishment. God does have absolute power, and there is no room for Satan in the Kingdom of God. In this sense we might regard the master of evil as an illusion, because he is already defeated by the power of Christ.

But why does evil exist at all? The answer is that our spirits grow faster and stronger through adversity. The pain of experiencing wrong doing and loss burns into our souls and encodes itself into our cells and our energy. The lessons we learn from our troubles become part of our very essence. Negative experiences also grant us the power of empathy, to see others as we see ourselves, to comprehend joys and sorrows and all the human impulses. As our eyes are opened and we grow in empathy, our ability to love unconditionally increases. To develop our highest potential, to become like God, we need to gain that love which only opposition allows us to gain. Without an opposing energy, our power to love would never be strengthened sufficiently to allow us to progress in the eternities.
–The Ripple Effect, pp 81-82

The adversary uses our fears, the opposite of love, to draw us away from God’s light and love. I talk about this in depth in the chapter “The Problem of Evil” in my book The Ripple Effect. We can discern his influence by looking prayerfully at the fruit that grows from his sway. Continuing on page 82:

Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, appearing to be the answer when in fact he is the problem. Fortunately, a false spirit posing as an angel of light casts a long, dark shadow. That is the nature of evil. It is a tree that bears bitter fruit that can always be detected over time...

It is important to recognize that Satan, the Deceiver, masterfully uses our own fears to hold us captive. Fear is the opposite of love. It warps and destroys love’s power to heal and to expand us. Some of us in this life and in the world to come are afraid to go to the Light and accept Christ’s love. And Christ will not force us; rather, he gently and ever so patiently guides us along. During my near-death experience, my transformation by his healing love began in the darkness before I ever saw him. This love grew in me until my fears departed and I believed I was accepted of him. Then I couldn’t be held from him and went to his light. While in darkness, each of us has the right to feel God’s love. But we must accept it. Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space; it is an impossibility…

We hold the keys that lead in and out of Satan’s realm. The Heavenly Father has given each of us all that we need to withstand and overcome adversity, and he will not give us more than we can bear. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1Corinthians 10:13)

A great enemy is often our own thoughts and words. Jesus taught that it is what comes from our own being that “defiles” us. Continuing this chapter again on page 85:

To dwell upon a thought is to give it energy. To act upon a thought is to give it life. The Lord discusses this principle in Mark 7:15. “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” When we give something place within our nature, it manifests itself physically and spiritually. Giving place to negative thoughts by repeating them, pondering them, gnawing on them, gives them energy and thus the power to transform...

God does have absolute power and allows evil for our benefit so that we can have greater joy as we learn to choose the right in all that we do; and we do live in troubled and trying times. Evil seems to be reaching new depths and broader acceptance in the lives of many. We must remember that at the same time, truth is expanding also, blessing us with new opportunity as we face our challenges. From page 87:

I know the endless love of God, and I know that if there is a way to reach any soul, he will find it and use it—for eternity if need be. Every spirit has the seed of God in it, a seed that only he knows the greatness of, and we cannot judge.

Evil exists for a divine purpose. Because of it we become aware of our weaknesses. As we gain control of appetites and desires, we begin to see how the influence of evil has strengthened us. The force of opposition can actually propel us forward. When we see it for what it is , we become less susceptible to its negative influence, more able to let our spirits take command of our bodies. We become free from ignorance and fear and therefore more wise in choosing our course down the river of life. Moreover, we are awakened to the multifaceted nature of God’s love for his children...

Know that we can and will see our world cleansed of all evil. Our earth will be blanketed with a greater glory, even the glory and love of God. But we must each believe and act in that faith. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

How can I go on after my loss?

When we lose a loved one, we cannot help but ask, “Why?” Death seems so final. In addition to grief, we often feel anger and may even blame ourselves. Remembering our eternal nature will help us draw strength as we understand that our loved one is now free of the physical pains of this world. “My new body was weightless and extremely mobile, and I was fascinated by my new state of being. Although I had felt pain from the surgery only moments before, I now felt no discomfort at all. I was whole in every way—perfect. And I thought, This is who I really am . . . The fact of a pre-earth life crystallized in my mind, and I saw that death was actually a 'rebirth' into a greater life of understanding and knowledge that stretched forward and backward through time.”— Embraced By The Light, pp. 31-32

Even with an understanding that death is an opportunity for us to grow spiritually, the emotions and pain we feel often would halt us in our ability to carry on. “After a loved one dies, grief may overwhelm us no matter how prepared we think we are; a relationship once taken for granted is suddenly stripped away from us, And an awesome void enters into our lives. We are left with sorrow, uncertainty, and a sense of helplessness. Often, vulnerability replaces confidence, and simple decisions become unfathomable matters of confusion.” —The Ripple Effect, p. 222-223

One of the most loving gifts we can give to another is to pray for them, we can pray for our departed loved ones and find healing ourselves. “Pray for one another that ye may be healed…” (James 5:16)

“Letting go of loved ones when they pass into the next life is natural and right. In letting go and praying for their continued growth, we share our love for them and open ourselves up to the power we need to move on. We need not insist that they return to comfort or calm us. God is able to do that as his spirit works among us, guiding us to the full and rich lives he intends for each of us.” —The Ripple Effect, p. 231


Dearest Betty, sometimes I feel so alone!
How can I feel God’s love?

This is our journey here, to learn to give and receive love. Overcoming the feeling of loneliness is a challenge most of us feel at some point in our lives. We can take comfort when we remember the Savior in the garden of Gethsemane. He too, felt alone, and understands our deepest pain and heartache. As we follow his teachings, we will grow to expand our own heart to greater love and become more open to our Heavenly Father’s love that is always around us. We each are his child, his son or daughter. And he wants to hear from us! Perhaps the best way to grow to feel his love is by nurturing our communication with him through prayer, our divine connection to him.

I talk of my own experience learning this in The Awakening Heart:

The gift of love was freely given to me, but the gift of communicating with him was not. In the spirit world I had been able to express my feelings without using words. Our communication was pure and without effort. Back on earth, I found no words that could express my thoughts and emotions. I knew that God already knew my heart; he could see my desire for direct contact within it…I began to think of God as more of a father…someone personal and loving, not just an authority figure. We talked together as parent and child. I shared with him my joys and fears. I began to thank him for the things in which he expressed himself, which was just about everything. I began to look forward to those times we had and soon found that my talks with him did not have to be at night, on my knees, but that I could have an ongoing communication with him all day long. — The Awakening Heart, pp. 45-47

God’s Love can be difficult to understand in the world we live, much less express, and its pureness can overwhelm. But when you find that you are love, and that you are loved unconditionally by God, then no other love compares and you lose all fear of ever losing love again because you know that you are born of everlasting love through the design and wisdom of God.

What about hell?

Some of my most oft asked questions have to do with hell and punishment for our sins in the afterlife. Many want to know if God's unconditional love is real and how this affects the consequences for our mistakes and sins. Here are some samples of the questions I receive:

Betty, if everyone just automatically goes to heaven, then why did Jesus Christ come into this world? Clearly, there must be punishment for our sins.

Question: in the end, does God forgive all sins no matter how big or small?

If there is no hell, wouldn't the Bible be wrong? And then, wouldn't God be wrong since the Bible is God's word? Please enlighten me on this because I'm living in fear of the afterlife.

My brother died without receiving the last sacrament. It still bothers me not knowing if he is reconciled with God.

I can only share what has been given me and what was taught me during my visit to the spirit world. When I asked the Savior similar questions, he asked me if I would throw any of my children into a burning hell of fire and brimstone. Then he gently reminded me how much greater the Heavenly Father's love is than mine. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? (Luke 11:11) Concerning hell, I wrote in The Ripple Effect:

. . . I can say that I did not see “hell,” and also that I find it hard to conceive of such a place, given what I experienced. I felt greater mercy and understanding from God than I had ever imagined. To say that the fires of hell will claim anyone forever is to deny the extent of God’s love, of his understanding, and of his willingness to forgive. We doubt his judgment in the first place if we believe he would send us here, block us from heaven, and then expect us to return to him unblemished. We must not think in black and white, but more like God thinks, without limiting any possibility for love and redemption. We should try everyday to see the good in people as he sees it, Not that we should blindly trust all people, but we can temper our judgment with the recognition that a piece of God dwells in each person, which is always redeemable.

     For 25 years I have thought about this judgment and forgiveness and about the worth of each soul to God. My experience was just my personal experience, not the collective experience of all, but pondering these things I have come to the conclusion that no soul, once remembering his or her true nature and previous life with God, would behave in ways God would not approve of. To do so would damage their own happiness. But in life we don’t remember. We cannot hear, see, or physically feel God. We act blindly and perhaps our true colors or our true ignorance comes out. These revelations about ourselves teach us what we need to work on to become more like God, and he kindly gives us the time and space to work on them . . . —The Ripple Effect, page 89

We create many of our own consequences by the choices we make. When we err or make mistakes, we suffer the consequences for those choices, this is how we learn to make right choices! Opposition is necessary for our growth, and growth is why we are here. Again, from The Ripple Effect:

. . . This statement may appear contradictory, but in an important respect I no longer view evil as evil. I view it as opposition with a purpose. People choose the wrong, not because they want to hurt themselves, but because they have not yet learned to choose the good. Through false traditions of those who teach them or through the enticements of Satan, people are led to believe that negativity will solve their problems. Negativity seems to have the instant ability to serve without effort and so is usually the first route taken.
As people choose a path not intended by God for them, they will eventually learn, but through a harder, longer process than necessary. Regardless of the process, though, whether in this life or in the next, it will yet turn them to God. “For it is written, . . . saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11). Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. God will use any means at his command to reclaim his lost children—even if it is through the things which they suffer. Hell is a tool at God’s command both here and in the hereafter and is a state of being, that individuals place themselves into. It claims its own: those who refuse to turn from negativity. But since all will eventually confess that God is God, we know he will eventually reclaim all his sheep, even the one who leaves the ninety and nine for a time.

     I know the endless love of God, and I know that if there is a way to reach any soul, he will find it and use it—for eternity if need be. Every spirit has the seed of God in it, a seed that only he knows the greatness of, and we cannot judge. —The Ripple Effect, pages 86-87

God does love all his children, and when we fear him we actually draw ourselves farther away from him.

     I understood how others had been instrumental in distancing me from him, though I felt no bitterness or judgment toward them.  I saw how men and women in authority over me had become prey to negative energy and had taught belief in God through fear. Their aims were positive, but their deeds were negative.  Because of their own fears, they were using fear to control others.  They intimidated those under them to believe in God, to “fear God or go to hell.” This prevented me from really loving God.  I understood again that fear is the opposite of love and is Satan's greatest tool.  Since I feared God, I could not truly love him, and in not loving him, I couldn't love myself or others purely either.  The law of love had been broken. —Embraced By The Light, pages 60-61

Hell is separation from God, but he loves all his children, and though we may move away from him for a time, eventually, I do not believe one of his children will be lost.

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:4-7).


Betty,
When in heaven you learned that we can literally open the windows of heaven for creative inspiration and abundance.
How do we do that?

When we acknowledge our source, and are grateful to that source, it is natural to receive in greater abundance.

“I also understood the importance of thanking God for the things we receive. Gratitude is an eternal virtue. In humility we must ask, and in gratitude we should receive. The more we thank God for the blessings we receive, the more we open the way for further blessings. His desire to bless us is full to overflowing. If we will open our hearts and minds to receive his blessings, we too will be filled to overflowing. We will know that he lives. We may become like the angels themselves, helping others who are in need.” —Embraced By The Light , p. 107

Learning to live with gratitude in our hearts also increases our ability when we do walk through life’s challenges and lessons. “There is magic in gratitude. It frees us from worry and competition in life. It opens our hearts and hands to genuine love, ironically allowing our hearts and hands to be filled again. . . . Gratitude helps ward off negativity. Being grateful for the good things in life invites their continued influence.” —The Ripple Effect, pp. 30, 76

Gratitude and abundance follow "acknowledgment." As we prayerfully and thankfully acknowledge our Creator, learn to recognize his hand in our life, and even share the blessings we have been given with others, we open the way for God's blessings. "We are sent here to live life fully, to live it abundantly, to find joy in our own creations . . . to use our free will to expand and magnify our lives." —Embraced By The Light, p. 59

We are all “terminal,” we will all die one day, and though we suffer loss while here, we can remember that this world is only a temporary home. "Life does not end when we die. Death is a rebirth into a spirit world of light and love, a transition from the physical to the spiritual that is no more frightening or painful than passing between rooms through an open doorway. It is a joyful homecoming to our natural home, . . ." –The Awakening Heart, p. xi

Sometimes I don't think God answers my prayers.
How can I tell mine are answered?

A portion of this answer can be found in Embraced By The Light Prayers and Devotions for Daily Living, July 18th, my prayer: Father, sometimes when I pray for others, I pray believing I have perfect solutions for their problems. While I know my heart is in the right place, I am confident and grateful that you will answer according to their needs and your plan for them, not mine. Bless me always to allow for your will whenever I pray in behalf of others.

Our prayers for others have great strength but can only be answered as far as they do not infringe on others’ free will—or as long as they do not frustrate others’ needs. God is bound to let us act for ourselves, but he is also willing to help in any way possible. —Embraced By The Light, page 105

We can always learn more about prayer. I recommend starting a prayer journal. In looking back I see answers to my prayers, not always expected or even in ways I was wanting, but I see God's hand and wisdom in my life and his blessings. Today I always pray for his will, not mine to be done and I fondly remember the angels around us, helping him answer our prayers.

I saw angels rushing to answer the prayers. They were organized to give as much help as possible. As they worked within this organization, they literally flew from person to person, from prayer to prayer, and were filled with love and joy by their work. They delighted to help us and were especially joyful when somebody prayed with enough intensity and faith to be answered immediately. —Embraced By The Light, pages 103-104

I love the promise given in Jeremiah: And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Do our pets go to heaven?

“No emotional trauma distresses us more than the loss of a dear one, and so a proper understanding of death is vital to our emotional and spiritual well-being. Loneliness tests us to the breaking point and can lead us into despair if we let it. However, knowing where a loved one goes after death is important to our healing.” —The Ripple Effect, page 188

I am often asked what happens to our pets when they die. I believe, with all my heart, that they too return to the Spirit World where I once visited to be with our Creator. All spirit is created by God our eternal Father, and all spirit will return to him. To me this includes our beloved pets. They will likely greet us when it, too, is our time to be with God. There is no greater thing to learn on earth then to love—love each other and all creation. Sometimes it takes a furry little friend to open our hearts to experience and to learn of love. They are gifts from our Heavenly Father. How blessed we are!

Will I know my loved ones when I die?

“Our bonds with loved ones continue after death as they began long before birth. The love between us is eternal and does not cease simply because we cannot see the departed. Those who have passed to the other side are very much alive—more so than ever—and they are able to comfort us and send us their love.” —The The Ripple Effect, page 190

Many want to know if they will see their deceased loved ones again. Death is but a transition where heaven and earth come together. Though loss is felt here, a new birth in heaven is attended with excitement and joy as a beloved family member returns home from their journey in mortality. We recognize our loved ones not only by their physical appearance, but by their "presence" as well—that identity that emanates one's true nature. We recognize each other and with great joy! When my father appeared to me a year after he passed away, I recognized him instantly, though he appeared much younger than I had become used to seeing him. I was assured with perfect clarity that, not only was he back home, but mindful of me and helping me when needed.

“You too can take comfort in knowing that your family members—perhaps from many generations back—are aware of you and are guiding you at times with unseen hands. God shares out the work of raising and watching over his children. His work occurs at many levels to ensure we are never alone. Knowledge of his plan tells us that our deceased loved ones are indeed our loved ones still. Though our mother, father, child, sister or brother may die, our love for them does not. By this we know that the bonds of love do extend between earth and heaven. By this we have hope and even assurance that family connections are enduring, even eternal.” —The Ripple Effect, page 199

Yes, our families and our loved ones are forever!

 

Betty, my life is so difficult!
How can I find strength?

Through prayer we bring life to our souls. Not only do we open ourselves to an increased endowment of God’s love and light, but we also call down the powers of heaven to overcome trials. In sending up a desperate cry for help, we call angels down to our sides to fight for our cause by adding their  energy to ours. By sincerely seeking wisdom, we open ourselves to impressions which can come immediately or at odd moments and provide keys of knowledge which unlock doors of opportunity. By offering heartfelt gratitude and praise to God, we open up space in our lives for new blessings.”
—The Ripple Effect, page 95

I was distinctly told that all prayers of desire are heard and answered. When we have great need, or when we are praying for other people, the beams project straight from us and are immediately visible. . . .We all have the ability, however, to reach God with our prayers.
Embraced By The Light, page 104

People often ask me how to pray. Any form of prayer gives us personal moments with God. Even our thoughts can be prayers, especially when we have emotion attached. The words we speak affect the energy around us and so our prayers spoken aloud are powerful. However, silent prayers are heard too and can even progress to a state of continual focus on God. Christ encouraged us to “pray without ceasing,” which is when our hearts are so connected to God that they always hold a prayer. There are times, when whatever the state of our physical being, our soul can be on its knees in prayer.

God knows beforehand what we need, but he wants us to grow by exercising our spiritual strength and constantly seeking his help in the face of opposition. The world may tell us to rely on our own egos and talents. Satan may tell us there is no God. Our own consciences weaken us with accusations of unworthiness. If we are going to pray effectively we must exercise faith sufficient to blast through these doubts and speak to our Father who is waiting patiently and lovingly for us to reach out.”
—The Awakening Heart, page 97

Betty, so much seems wrong with our world today. How do we battle evil?

...God does have absolute power, and there is no room for Satan in the Kingdom of God. In this sense we might regard the master of evil as an illusion, because he is already defeated by the power of Christ . . . To develop our highest potential, to become like God, we need to gain that love which only opposition allows us to gain. Without an opposing energy, our power to love would never be strengthened sufficiently to allow us to progress in the eternities. —The Ripple Effect, pp. 81-82

Evil exists in this world for a purpose. We want to grow from the opposition in our lives rather than succumb to it. To do this, we need to learn to discern the nature of evil:

It is a tree that bears bitter fruit that can always be detected over time. Evil will take on any form necessary to tempt us, to test us, to claim us, hoping we don't look too closely at its real composition. Remember, like cleaves to like.

. . . It is important to recognize that Satan, the Deceiver, masterfully uses our own fears to hold us captive. Fear is the opposite of love. It warps and destroys love's power to heal and to expand us. Some of us in this life and in the world to come are afraid to go to the Light and accept Christ's love. And Christ will not force us; rather, he gently and ever so patiently guides us along. During my near-death experience, my transformation by his healing love began in the darkness before I ever saw him. This love grew in me until my fears departed and I believed I was accepted of him. Then I couldn't be held from him and went to his light. While in darkness, each of us has the right to feel God's love. But we must accept it. Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space; it is an impossibility. . . his love for everyone is the same. It is without conditions or limits. And it is the only anecdote against fear and the Evil One. —The Ripple Effect, p. 83-84

To battle evil, we need only serve God. And we can increase our capacity to serve him as we earnestly seek his will and follow the spiritual principles we have learned. Jesus taught us that "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness (Matthew 6:22-23). Yet there are many who focus on negative, looking for evil, fueling it with their fears, obsessing upon darkness rather than focusing upon the light of God.

To dwell upon a thought is to give it energy. To act upon a thought is to give it life. The Lord discusses this principle in Mark 7:15. "There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man." When we give something place within our nature, it manifests itself physically and spiritually. Giving place to negative thoughts by repeating them, pondering them, gnawing on them, gives them energy and thus the power to transform us into their image.

. . . Bits of darkness may creep into us because mortality is a test that teaches and strengthens us, but we are children of God and like him are beings of truth and beauty and light. Ugliness in all its forms is foreign to our true nature.

Often we can recognize something evil inside as it is mirrored back by people around us. In this way we can learn and grow.  —The Ripple Effect, p. 85

I also wrote about this in my book The Awakening Heart in the chapter "The Gift to Heal."

I knew that spiritual healing must precede physical and mental healing and that we determine whether our spirits draw on the positive or the negative energy available to us. I had been shown that the self-centeredness of depression can create further illness and that the cycles of fear and guilt that draw one into darkness are Satan's greatest tools...I began to see now, for the first time, many of my own weaknesses and recognized that I had the ability to overcome my own creations. —The Awakening Heart, p. 32

People make wrong choices, not because they set out to hurt themselves, but because they have not yet learned to choose good. And as each of us make right choices, allowing our own light to shine, we can help others learn to do the same.

Those who understand the message of God's love must share it with courage and confidence. People not yet sure in spiritual truth will be supported and guided by those who are sure until they come into their own understanding. We can and will see our world cleansed of all evil and blanketed with a greater glory, even the glory and love of God. But we must each believe and act in that belief. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).  —The Ripple Effect, pp. 92-93

How do we battle evil? By not giving into it!

I saw the evil in surrendering to one of Satan's greatest tools—my personal cycles of guilt and fear. I understood that I had to let go of the past. If I had broken laws or sinned, I needed to change my heart, forgive myself, and then move onward. If I had hurt someone, I needed to start loving them—honestly--and seek their forgiveness. If I had damaged my own spirit, I needed to approach God and feel his love again—his healing love. Repentance can be as easy as we make it—or as difficult. When we fall down, we need to get up, dust ourselves off, and get moving again. If we fall down again, even a million times, we still need to keep going; we're growing more than we think. Embraced By The Light, pages 69-70

We can overcome the darkness in our lives by picking up the spiritual tools freely available to each of us. One of the most powerful is the gift of prayer. We must remember that our Heavenly Father wants to hear from us and we need only talk to him—which we can do at any time and anywhere. We can open our eyes to his hand in our lives and then thank him for the blessings he gives us. And most especially, we can choose to love!

"Love one another," Jesus had said. "If you can do that, all else will be fine." The Awakening Heart, page 44


 
 

 

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