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
|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?
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?
|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.
|Sometimes I don't think God answers my prayers. How can I tell mine are answered?
|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?
"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?
“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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
Why do good people sometimes have so
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
“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
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
what's it like in heaven?
often ask me about heaven. Especially after the
death of a loved one, they wonder what it’s
like to be in heaven.
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.
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
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
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
If God has all power,
have power over our spirit?
Why do we have to battle evil?
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
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:
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
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…
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
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:
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
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:
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.
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...
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
can I go on after my loss?
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
“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.
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
if everyone just automatically goes to heaven,
then why did Jesus Christ come into this
world? Clearly, there must be punishment
for our sins.
in the end, does God forgive all sins no
matter how big or small?
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
brother died without receiving the last sacrament.
It still bothers me not knowing if he is
reconciled with God.
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.
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
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
. . 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.
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
does love all his children, and when we fear
him we actually draw ourselves farther away
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
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.
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.
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
...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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