be prepared for it.
I know that telling the interpretation of the dream before revealing the dream is not the way Joseph, the 11th son of Israel did, but I felt that I wanted to get it out of the way before I started talking about the dream and talking of dreams in general.
I believe that God communicates to us not only by feelings in our hearts, impressions to our minds, or direct speech but also through dreams and vision. Since both dreams and visions are highly subjective and colored by the culture in which we live, God provides an interpreter of dreams.
The Gift of the Holy Ghost
The gift of the Holy Ghost is the privilege—given to people who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, been baptized, and been confirmed as members of the Church—to receive continual guidance and inspiration from the Holy Ghost.
How do I know my dream was from God? Well, it is simple. I have the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and I can discern if something pertaining to me is from God or just mental release of stored information, which is what dreams normally are.
I am not a prophet, nor do I claim special privilege that other people cannot have. I just know that the dream or the revelation has relevance to me and I am getting personal with my Christianity and sharing it here.
Also, I did meditate on it and inquired of God if it was okay for me to share my dream. I felt it would be okay. One thing I have learned when dealing with God is that He does not give me things if I cannot keep most of what is given sacred until I am instructed to share.
You know how crazy people would think I was if I shared everything that God gave to me? I am referring to other Christians who would think me insane--let alone the non-believers! If I say that God spoke to me last night, and I have before, I get the raised brow and the knowing nod.
If I say I felt like God was telling me something, I get approval--almost like if it came down to it I could recant it and say that I was mistaken without hurting my image or trying the faith of another person. I have misinterpreted things I have received too, but that is a different issue to be addressed.
God Always Does Things with Purpose.
God would not just give me a dream, an answer to a prayer, or commandment without there being a purpose behind it in some way towards my benefit and salvation. Now, that goes for everyone on the planet too.
Every revelation that is from God that humanity has the honor to read has come to us through necessity. Moses had his visions so that he could lead and teach the Israelites after hundreds of years of slavery to be a free people under God.
Joseph Smith had his visions to restore the Church of Christ on the earth with its accompanying priesthood authority from God. God waited on both men to be ready to receive His communications, as he does for all of us--He waits until we can handle it.
What we choose to do with the information after He gives it to us determines how much more He will give to us. The last thing He will do is overload us or overwhelm us with knowledge.
He wants us to be able to gain understanding, which is why I try unsuccessfully to live the Gospel perfectly. By that I mean, I don't repent each time I make a mistake right away; otherwise, I pray too much and ask for forgiveness to think I am going anywhere but Celestial Glory, but that is another topic.
What is the Dream! I know, I know...
There I was at the home of my stake president with my wife and kids. For some reason, we were there doing some type of activity with our families that I did not pay attention to very well. My wife and I were sitting in the same room with our stake president talking about some particular issue while the president had one of his small children, struggling with him to get the child to comply with some command. It looked like the child was resisting him as he tried to finish dressing him.
As I sat there listening to the president talk, he threw some mild profanity at the child. My wife then exclaimed an affectionate reprimand, "Oh, my Bishop."
She may have only said those words in the dream, but the president and I understood those three words to mean more. She preached a sermon of loving forgiveness and warning to try to be better.
In the dream, I understood her using the title of bishop instead of president since he was also our bishop before he became the stake president. It was a term of endearment so to speak. He understood the reprimand and apologized for using the language and my wife, and he moved on to discuss, whatever it was. I don't remember from the dream.
The president still struggled with the child who fought him on every angle. This same child spoke with us as an intelligent person but transformed between being a young child and an older one. He was very obstinate, but not wicked as I could tell from the feelings that came off of him.
The president let out a few strings of expletives, and I did not know how to receive him after that. I lowered my gaze away from him as he spoke further. My wife again reprimanded him in the words, "Oh, my Bishop!"
After speaking with us for some time, the president asked me, "Rod, what do you think?" He referred to the ongoing conversation we had of which I do not recall.
I reflected on his question for some time and then said. "I don't know. I can't get passed what you did. I cannot even make eye contact with you because I am so disappointed."
That was all I said, but since it was a dream, it was not all I communicated. In those words, I communicated that I was shocked that he would speak to his child in such a crude manner and yet expect me not to comment on it.
I communicated that I was ashamed and hurt by the experience because I was expected to view him still as a Christian leader to direct my spiritual paths. I communicated hurt and sheer shame!
He replied, "I understand and am glad that you were honest with your feelings."
That was all he said, but what I understood was him thanking me for being willing to point it out and be honest with him instead of glossing it over and having a bad experience later. He admitted to not being perfect and still struggling with life's issues though God had called him to be in the leadership position he held. He apologized sincerely and humbly sought my forgiveness, which I gave.
I left his home with my wife and family afterward feeling satisfied with him, but aware also that he was VERY human and in need of God's grace as much as anyone else.
That brings me back to:
I dreamed a dream that caused me to think that I will soon be disappointed by a church leader who I esteem highly and should be prepared for it.
The Lord gives multiple interpretations of Dreams and visions
After I thought about it for a while, I put myself in the position of the president and took all of that first impression out of my mind. One of my children became the me-character in the dream, but my wife remained the same.
I wonder if my children see me the way I saw the president in the dream. I wonder because they see all of me. They have seen me at my lowest and my best. I am their spiritual guide. The older they get, the more imperfections they see in me. I strive with my children to do what is right and often find myself doing wrong and having to repent, just like in the dream.
My wife is my eternal companion, and we are both more prone to be tolerant of each other than other people would be including our children who will eventually grow up and move away.
My wife and I forgive each other of each infraction because we understand life a little more than our children in many respects. My wife always forgives or accepts my imperfections with counsel, but continues to respect me as a righteous man of God willingly listening to my counsel as I listen to God.
Placing myself in the position of the president and my child in the position of my character may be the way I was supposed to see it. I know that I cannot hide my imperfections from my children, but I should be quick to apologize if I make a mistake and move to help the children learn from my mistakes and move on.
So, I dreamed a dream that caused me to think that I will soon disappoint one of my children and should be prepared for it.
- prepared to ask forgiveness.
- prepared to let my children understand that I am in as much need of the grace of God as anyone.