Ep. 54 Thinness of the Veil
Hi everyone. Welcome to this episode of the Latter Day Disciples podcast. I’m grateful to be joined by Craig Jenkins. Craig was born and raised in Salt Lake. He served a mission in the Northwest. He and his wife Lorena, met in Seattle, Washington, a few years after his mission while he was there visiting friends from his mission days. The two have five children, two of which were born in Washington, one in Salt Lake and two in Dallas, Texas. So the family moved back from Dallas to Alpine, Utah, in 1988 and have been there ever since. Craig has a career in sales and marketing and says that he does ordinary things pretty well, which I’m sure is an understatement. Craig, thank you so much for joining me.
Craig: Well, ordinary things, meaning just the simple things that everybody can do. I can do those. I can do those things well. The same things everybody can do.
Meghan: So like getting dressed and feeding yourself?
Craig: Just the ordinary things that we were asked to do; say our prayers, reading the scriptures, those ordinary things, I can do those well. Don’t ask me to do anything hard. But I can do the ordinary.
Meghan: Well, I appreciate that.
Craig: And ordinary things done over time obviously bring extraordinary results. Extraordinary.
Meghan: Yes, the law of small and simple things.
Craig: Yes. And that’s where I stole that from, Alma. And I just substitute ordinary instead of small and simple things. And one of my favorite scriptures is in Moses 7:21 where Enoch is shown the entire world, and then he shows the city of Enoch being taken up. And the term is, “and in process of time the city of Enoch was taken up…” and you look in the next chapter–in that time was 365 years–so ‘in process of time’, ordinary things become extraordinary. And so on to what Megan has asked me to speak about… my wife, Lorna, May 1st, 2014 she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. She’d never been a smoker or anything. And given about a short period of time to live, whether she did the traditional medicine, either with traditional medicine [or not] it was only a few months of additional life, and she passed [on treatment]so she decided not to do that. She had seen a friend go through chemo for the previous year and that was not an option and it only would have added a few months to her life anyway, so she passed [on it]. She passed away about four months later. And that started our family on a journey that has been very satisfying. I guess satisfying. Bittersweet, sweetness tinged with sadness. So she wouldn’t let us tell anybody she was sick. And she never really looked sick. So nobody really knew. Her brother and sisters didn’t know until the night before she died. And they just accidentally found out. So when it was announced in church Sunday morning that Lauren had passed away, Bishop told me there was an audible gasp. And then the tears started flowing because she was there the week before. And today, what’s up with that? So that afternoon and evening, people were coming over, coming over to see what happened, and find out what happened. Monday night some friends were over asking the questions and our stake president, Buzz Butler, stopped by with his wife, our youngest daughter, Katie answered the door, chatted for a minute and then President Butler asked her if she would like a blessing. I’d been President Butler’s executive secretary for nine years. He has a gift when it comes to giving blessings. He’s a seer. And so during that blessing to Katie, he told her that it was her mother’s time to go. She could have chosen to stay, but it was her mother’s time to go. And I’ve met three other people who were given the option to stay or to go. They obviously chose to stay or I wouldn’t know about it, but she was given that option. He also told her that she had already sung in a choir. And then towards the end of the blessing, he said, “Your mother is here. She’s in the room with us. She’s standing right in front of you.” And Katie, in her account, said she didn’t remember what else he said. And then he closed the blessing and said, “Listen, I need to go talk to your dad, stay here as long as you want.” So she’s sitting in that room, the little office by the front door, knowing her mother is in the room and she’s expecting to have a neat experience. She thought she was going to see her mother. And then she realized she didn’t know if she had the faith to have that kind of an experience. So she just asked, “Mom, am I going to see you?” And she heard her mother say, “No, darling, there’s the veil.” Then she looked up towards the ceiling. And her mother said, “I’m not floating.” And then she said, “Okay, that was kind of a funny question. Will I feel your hugs?” “No, I don’t have a body.” “Well then, will you show me how I will know?” And then, simultaneously with words in her mind, she got really warm and full of life and energy and heard her mother say, “My spirit will enter your spirit and I will speak words to your mind.” So that experience pretty much started us on a journey of just how involved those on the other side can be, if we will let them. That was a clue for us. “I will speak words to your mind.” Later in the evening, giving Curt–one of our boys a blessing–he was told that his mother’s ability to bless her children was now uninhibited. Uninhibited. There again, so that started that journey and it’s been remarkable ever since. Her fingerprints are pretty much everywhere. Even today I see them in the lives of her family. So that was that experience. A few weeks before she passed away I could hear her in the bedroom whimpering and groaning and almost wailing at times. I opened the door and walked into the bedroom. And she’s crouched on the bed. And I said, “Are you okay?” And she looked up at me and very sternly said, “You’ve got to leave now and don’t come back.” So I just kind of backed out of the bedroom and maybe 15 minutes or so later, she came out of the bedroom, walked out into the backyard and laid down on the grass. And I followed her out there. She said, “Well, that was an interesting experience.” And I said, “Well, what?” She said, “I was seeing people from my lifetime, one at a time, that I had either offended or felt as though they had offended me or had issues with them.” [These were people] with unresolved issues from throughout her life. She was seeing them one at a time. One at a time. And then she sees in her mind’s eye, a small school auditorium–she went to a small school where the cafeteria is used for assemblies and everything else–where a bunch of chairs had been set up. There had been some kind of a gathering. And she saw a custodian putting the chairs away and sweeping the floor. And the impression came to her that those chairs represented the people she had been seeing one at a time. There was a young man that had offended her deeply, fifty years before, that she had carried feelings for for 50 years. Yeah, fifty years at least that she saw in that experience. So that man–she noticed that his shirt was unbuttoned down to his waist–and she could see his garments. And she recalled that –they had a big garden at their home in Washington–she remembered her dad used to do that in the summertime. And the man turned and looked at her. It was her dad. And he gave her a loving look of approval. And when she told me that, I thought, “Well, I assumed she was going home.” She was getting ready for something, I assumed going home. I had to speak in church a few years later and as I was wondering what that experience was like, wondering what that experience was like. And I asked her, I said, “So, Hon, what was that experience like?” And the words that came into my mind were, “It was an anguish of soul experience.” An anguish of soul experience. So on the Sunday before she passed away she had sent our daughter Callie, a text saying, “I wish my dad and brothers would come and give me a blessing.” She had a couple of brothers who had passed away that she’d never known and another brother. So there were three brothers on the other side of the veil, and her dad. And she wanted them to come and give her a blessing. She felt as though it might be more powerful than what I could do or we could do. Anyway, so that Sunday night– I didn’t know anything about the text–that Sunday night I go in the bedroom to check on her and she said, “I want you to give me a blessing right now and heal me.” And I remember thinking, “Wha, what, okay…” Our oldest son Scott had come over to check on her. I went to ask him if he would, if he would anoint. And he immediately got up and left the room, and went out in the backyard. He came in a bit later and when he anointed her with oil, he said, “And I invite your dad and brothers to join with us in this blessing.” And he didn’t know anything about the text or what Lorna’s request had been that morning. So when I put my hands on her head to confirm that anointing I was merely the mouthpiece for her dad as he gave her a father’s blessing and actually promised her that she would be completely healed. And after the blessing, Scott and I were euphoric. He’s on the other side of the veil. He, he knows. He knows. But instead of being completely healed, the next week she went. It was like she fell off the table. Like she fell off the table when she passed away the following week. I was a little perplexed about that because I knew that I hadn’t given her that blessing, that her dad had. And as I was pondering that, and then when Katie– initially, she didn’t tell us that President Butler had told her in that blessing that her mother could have chosen to stay but it was her time to go. So when I realized when Katie told us that she had chosen to stay, she would have been completely healed. And nobody, very few people would have ever even known that she was sick. So there again, she passed away, we held the funeral. The morning Callie, our daughter Callie, was leaving the hospital–it was after her mother had passed away–she heard her mother say, “Do not forget me. Do not start a journey of forgetting me. I can do things from here. Just keep me in the family text. Keep me in the loop. Keep me in the loop. Uh, as though I’m still there responding to the text.” So because of a few of those clues we were in; every two weeks on the prayer roll of the Timpanogos Temple, I would write, “Craig and Lorna Jenkins Family; ears to hear, hearts to feel and minds to know.” And eventually you get good at hearing and feeling those that are gone. So any questions, Meghan?
Meghan: Yeah, well, first off, thank you. This is such a powerful story. And, you know, it’s so evident that Lorna’s the love of your eternity and that sharing her story is not easy and so I really appreciate that. One of the reasons that I wanted to invite you on to tell this story is because so many of us deal with death; death of loved ones, of family, and friends. And as a condition of living in the last days and in the times leading up to when the Savior comes, there’s going to be much more death. No one is going to be untouched by it. And for disciples of Jesus Christ I think that it’s really important for us to learn to recognize the thinness of the veil and to embrace the fact that our loved ones who might have passed on from mortality are not consigned to no longer be a part of our existence. And that in some ways, as you said about Lorna, they are even more unhindered from being able to bless us and to bless their loved ones. Can you talk about that a little bit more, where it was said in the blessing that your mother’s ability to bless her children is now unrestrained? Was it unrestrained? Uninhibited. Uninhibited. So what are some of the ways that you have seen that become true, where Lorna has been able to bless you and your family in ways that she would not have been able to if she were still here?
Craig: Well, let me–so this was our daughter, Callie on the one year anniversary of her mother passing away–”Sunday, August 24, 2014 could have been a day that broke me beyond repair. Growing up and thinking about my mom dying young was a thought I really couldn’t even think. It created so much fear and pain in me. On this day, a year ago, my normal was forced to change. I was no longer going to see her pull up in my driveway to come say hi or take me to lunch. I was no longer going to be able to call and talk to her every day on the phone or hug her. I was never going to see her in her beautiful body again. This new normal hurts sometimes and has taken a lot of courage and faith to be okay with. This state a year ago was not, however, the last time I felt my mom’s love for me. It was not the last time she gave me advice on how to love her grandchildren. It was not the last time she shared beautiful insights with me. It was not the last time she comforted me and made me feel like only your mom can; that everything is not only going to be okay, but it’s going to be great. On this day, my mom left her beautiful body behind, but she did not leave me. I was just forced to figure out a new normal with her, a new way of communicating with her, and a new way of feeling her. This past year has been one of the most sacred, love filled learning and growing years of my life. My life is so much more full due to this experience, full of love and heartbreak, fear and peace, miracles, growth, gratitude, and all for God’s love for each of us. His love is unending and truly unchanging. I love you, Mom.” So it was a process of just believing. President Nelson, at the funeral of his daughter, Wendy–she passed away, she was 67 she passed away in January of 2019–when he made this statement to her children and grandchildren, ”She can minister to you in what I call parenting through the veil. She sees us more clearly through the veil than we see her. We cannot forget her.”– Hang on a second. I’ll say it exactly right.–”She can minister to you and what I call parenting through the veil. She can see us more clearly through the veil and we see her. We cannot forget her. We do not cease to love her. We are sealed to her by eternal ties. She loves us now more than ever. Her desire for our well-being will be greater than that which we feel for ourselves. So, dear family, stay tuned.” And as a family, we chose to stay tuned. And then songs…Lorna has been a master with songs, with tunes, pictures in our mind, whatever it might be, songs in particular. She’s been a wizard. A wizard with songs expressing how she felt and answering questions. And we have kept her present. Now, in my case–Callie called me about 18 months after Lauren had passed away, and she said, “Mom wants you to have President Butler give you a blessing.” And I said, “Well, okay.” –And it’s easy to schedule because I was his executive secretary.–And it was a blessing concerning this next phase. I knew shortly after Lorna passed away that I’d remarry because I woke up one morning and in my mind I heard, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” And I remember thinking, “Geez, where did that come from?” I knew where it came from, where’d that come from? And I mentioned it to Callie a few weeks later, and she said, “Oh, I’ve known since before I left the hospital the morning mom died. She told me, ‘Your dad will remarry. I want him to be as happy as I am.’” And I said, “Well, if that’s true, I’m not looking. I’m not looking.” So about 18 months into this process–you know, people would call, well-intentioned people, I always appreciated it–but during that blessing, he talked about this next phase. And he described a very specific person right down to health and personality. And he said, “And it’ll be a very happy companionship for time. And then in a way we don’t understand, because you’ll love each other when death comes to both, you’ll go with your companion, she’ll go with hers. But you will have fond, eternal memories of your time together.” And in the blessing, he mentioned that she has a demure personality; she’s not one to chase a man. So I thought, “I like that. I don’t have to go online or to dances after this. When somebody calls me and wants me to meet somebody, at least I’ll go meet them.” But I need to back up; about six weeks after I’d heard that, while driving down Provo Canyon–I had played golf with a missionary friend– I had the strongest impression that whoever this person was–this is prior to the blessing–whoever this person was, I’ve known her forever. I’ve loved her forever. And in that time before time, I knew mine was going home. She knew hers was going home. And we were going to meet and run this last phase together. So towards the end of that blessing, President Butler said, as I mentioned, “Your Heavenly Father would have you be a little more proactive in this process.”
So over the next five or six months, I went out with some fine, fine women. One of them kind of fit the profile of the blessing. And I’m saying my prayers that night–not about that–but I hear, “She’s not the one.” And I remember stopping right in the middle of my prayer and saying, “Why not?” I had already set a second date with her, so when on that date– it was going well–and I heard the same thing. So I dropped her off and never called her again. The lady that set us up bumped into me a month or so later. She said, “So how come you never called Linda again?” And I just looked at her. And she said, “Did Lorna tell you not to?” And I just kept looking at her. How do you say, “Yeah, my dead wife said, ‘Don’t call that woman again.’” So I remember August of 2016, I had just met another lady, I’m sitting in my truck, and I said, “You know what, hon? You obviously know who this person is. I’m through. This dating isn’t any more fun now than it was 50 years ago. I don’t want my feelings hurt. I don’t want to hurt somebody else’s heart. I’m done. On a phone that had rung constantly, regularly for two years, never rang again. Never again. And in July of 2018–after Lorna passed away, it was obvious that people were praying for us, I decided to be a little more dutiful in this process. And because of my assignment in the stake, I was aware of people that were having difficulties. And so I would pray for them.–And I remember in July of 2018, I’m saying my prayers and I paused to think, “If I can think of anybody that I should remember in my prayers…”and Deborah Romney’s name popped into my head. When we moved to Alpine in 1988 we met Bob and Debra Romney and became friends. Some of the kids were the same age. We did some things socially with them. I found out subsequently that Deborah and Lorna were much better friends than I ever really knew. And so I prayed for Deborah, and I knew that Bob had passed away, I couldn’t have told you exactly when but for about three weeks, every night I would pray for Deborah Romney. I finally decided I should call and ask her how she was doing. It had been about a year since Bob had passed away. She was not in a real good spot, but she was doing okay. So we chatted for about 45 minutes. I told her about the blog that is part of this thing tonight and hung up. And she was Deborah Romney, Bob’s wife, a friend of 30 years. She sent me a text the next morning thanking me for the call. She’d read the blog, loved the kids. She had to go out of town but wanted to visit with me when she got back, to share a neat experience she had with Bob the day that he died. So I heard from her about eight or nine days later, we met at a little cafe in Highland, Utah, The Blue Lemon. She shared that experience with me. And then she wanted to go up the canyon to see if there were any colors. So we drove up the canyon–American Fork Canyon–and came back down, she got out of the car, then she sat back down. She said, “I got a message from Lorna while I was out of town. At least I think it was Lorna.” And I said, “No, if that was your impression, it probably was.” And then she left and I didn’t think anything about it for a couple hours. Then a couple of hours later, I’m thinking, “Now why in the world would Lorna be giving a message to Deborah unless it had something to do with me?” And then I thought, “Maybe it has something to do with us.” And then I started to see Deborah in just a little bit different of a light. So I made an excuse to go see her the next day. And we visited for a minute and I said, “So, what did Lorna say?” And she said, “Well, you know what? I don’t know what it means. I was pushed back into the car. I didn’t want to say anything anyway. I’ve regretted it ever since. So no, I just don’t want to say it.” So a bit later I said, “So what did I learn to say?” And she didn’t want to tell me again. And I said, “Just tell me, just tell me.” And she said, “I told you I went out of town.” “Yes.” I had to use some air points. I went to Las Vegas for a Donny and Marie concert.” Bob had delivered one of Marie’s babies years ago, and they had been friends ever since. And she wanted to give her a copy of his funeral service. And a few days before she went, she said she was at some friend’s house playing games that the two of them, Bob and Debra, used to play games with. And a song–I told you about songs and how Lorna uses songs, and music–Deborah heard that song, and she said, “What’s the name of that song? I love that song.” And Dean Lindsay, one of the men there, said, “Deborah, that’s a Frank Sinatra song, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me.’ “Okay, I love that.” So her son Michael put her on the bus to go to Las Vegas and somewhere between St George and Las Vegas–she’s sitting looking out the window–and the seat next to her, to her right, is empty. That song starts playing in her mind, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me, Someone to Watch Over Me.’ So she’s singing that to herself and hears Lorna say from the seat next to her, “Deborah, you need someone to watch over you and so does Craig.” And she said she turned and looked at the empty seat and blurted out, “Lorna, are you talking to me?” And in that original conversation, I had asked her, not for myself–there again, it hadn’t even dawned on me–if she had met anybody, or had had lunch with anybody or she said, “No, she had no intention of ever getting married again. She didn’t want to take the chance of having to get to know somebody.” So she’s down there in Vegas. She’s thinking, “Geez, I already know Craig. I already know his kids. I knew Lorna well, we were good friends.” So the bus stops in Parowan on the way home. She’s eating a Subway sandwich there at the truck stop and hears Bob say, –from the same side–”It breaks my heart to see you alone. I don’t want you to be alone.” So when she gets home, she’s walking through the house, she has a picture of Bob on the kitchen counter–we all had pictures that we would talk to or I did, Deborah did–she looks at the picture and hears Bob say to her, “He’s a good guy.” And she said, “I knew exactly who he was talking about.” I said, “I know he’s a good guy. What are you trying to tell me?” And then she said when he wanted to emphasize something he would say it again a little more slowly…”He’s really a good guy.” So she said, “Are you trying to pawn me off?” So she took the picture and put it in the other room. She said, “I’m not sure what this means. Maybe it just means maybe we just need to be friends and help each other through this time.” And I said, “Well, we’re already friends and I don’t need any more friends anyway.”– That was probably a lie.–”But I think I know what it means; we should just spend a little time and find out.” And then that blessing from President Butler..He said we would both just know, words won’t even need to be spoken, we will both just know. And it was apparent very quickly that it had been set up long before we ever came here. Our oldest son, Scott–this would have been a problem for him, Lorna used to say the two of them came from the same planet, and any time that I might remarry, he would say, “Yeah, I’m okay with it.” But you knew he wasn’t okay with it– the Romneys had given him $1,000 for his mission fund back in the day. Shortly after Debra and I were seeing each other– he’s picking up one of his little boys from a football practice–a song from Lorna’s funeral comes on, and he realizes Bob is sitting in the seat next to him. “Scott, thank you for letting your dad take care of Deborah for me.” So he calls me a little later to ask me how things are going. I said, “Why do you ask?” And then he told me what he had heard. And then when he saw her for the first time, a few days later, he gave her a very long, warm embrace–and we’re not huggers–so, I know there’s no jealousy, judgment or possession on the other side of the veil, I know they want us to be happy. You know, the book that Megan has read a little bit of and the blog, the book is free, it’s online. It’s to be shared, not sold. Lots of stories in there about fingerprints, the various ways that she’s blessed our family. Now President Butler did tell me in that blessing, that when this time comes, when I meet this person, I would feel less and less of Lorna, it is the order of things. But to be ever so mindful, she’ll continue to minister to you and your family, but the decisions now would be made between Debra and I, not someone who’s on the other side of the veil. And so for four years I had–you know, I kept a journal of the times when I knew Lorna was around–I had an experience about once every seven days. But I’m a believer. I’m a believer. And if I even think it is, I don’t question it. We don’t talk ourselves out of it if we think. And since Deborah and I have gotten together, we got married about four months later. I don’t feel Lorna much anymore, but I see her. I see her fingerprints in the family all the time. All the time. Callie has noticed that we still parent our family together. Together. So like Callie mentioned, you know, maybe when someone passes away, to forget them is the wrong thing to do. And then that statement from President Nelson, “So, dear family, stay tuned. Stay tuned.” So it has been a remarkable experience for us even to this day in what she can do. But we became believers, from when Lorna said to Katie, “I will speak words to your mind.” I believe it’s a language we all speak. We just have to remember how to speak it.”
Meghan: Yeah, I love hearing about Lorna and how you wrote about your experiences with her– in the book–because it seems to me that she was a real fireball, just like a really strong personality.
Craig: She was project driven. You know, a couple of months after she passed away, our oldest son Scott, had a dream. Scott meets in the same church building, in the stake center [as I do]. And so he would come into the stake offices occasionally on Sunday during between meetings and we’d visit. And he’s having a dream one night, just a few months after mother passed away. And he’s walking down into those areas and I walked into the chapel, he followed me into the chapel and he’s calling me by name and I’m ignoring him or I don’t hear him. And we walked up an aisle and across the back and walked up towards the front and he saw his mother sitting on the second row right on the end. And he looks at her and said, “What are you doing here? You died.” And she said, “I just came to tell you I love you.” And then he said, “Well, how are you doing?” And she said, “We don’t ask that here. We don’t ask that here.” “Does anything bug you?” And she said, “Yeah, one or two little things.” Now, when he told me that–because of Lorna’s personality– I said, “Oh, they must have a handbook. And she has to follow the rules and she doesn’t want to follow the rules.” ‘What do you mean, I can’t do that?’ ‘Lorna, you can’t do that.’ Danny, –that was her dad’s name–make sure she reads the handbook, make sure she reads the landbook. And he makes sure Lorna reads the handbook. And then he said he asked her questions for about 15 minutes, and the answers were blowing his mind. And then he had heard some breathing off to his side, realized it was as he focused on that for a second that it was his wife, Eliza. He woke up, he ran into the bathroom and tried to write down everything. He could only remember the first two questions. But after writing that blog, I heard from a lot, a lot, a lot of people. We are not unique at all. We are not. Many families have had similar experiences. So it’s not just something peculiar to us, we really are just ordinary people who can do ordinary things. The blog and the book were heaven directed. Heaven directed the book itself. I had a feeling I should write a book. I didn’t want to write a book. I remember waking up one morning, I’m walking to the bathroom and I said, “Okay, I will write the book.” I used kind of another term. And it surprised me what I said. I assumed I was being chastened and counseled before I woke up. I have found that mornings are especially revelatory when you’re first waking up. Impressions and feelings come when you’re just waking up, probably from a discussion you were having before you were aware of the discussion. So there again, the book is free. The blog is free. That would be the easiest thing to do, is probably look at those and glean any insights. There’s experiences of other people in the book and other people that felt the same thing that Katie felt when her mother’s spirit entered her spirit. But they certainly are not dead. They are not gone. They’re interested In our welfare. Sorry I got so emotional. It’s been eight years. I shouldn’t be this emotional about this.
Meghan: I think that I really love the term, ‘stay tuned’. Because in a lot of ways I feel like discerning the voice of your loved one is very much the same as receiving any other kind of revelation from the Holy Ghost. And it just makes me think how few of the thoughts that we have are really our own. It seems like much more often than not, the good thoughts that we have, the uplifting and the directing impressions that we receive, more often than not, they’re from the Holy Ghost or they’re from our angels that are ministering to us under the direction of the Holy Ghost. Have you noticed a difference between when you’re hearing Lorna, and when you’re hearing more generic revelation from the Holy Ghost? And how do you tell the difference?
Craig: I believe the Holy Ghost presides and authorizes, righteous people are then assigned. The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s. The Son also. But the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of spirit, were it not so, he could not dwell in us. And Katie had that experience of her mother’s spirit entering her spirit. During her [Lorna’s] funeral, Debbie Goodman, a very good friend of hers, felt Lorna’s spirit enter her spirit, during the funeral. I have felt that– I was at the veil the other day, I’m an ordinance worker at the Timpanogos Temple–the person I was receiving at the veil, I absolutely know that the spirit of that person that he was doing the work for was a part of him, ‘I will enter your spirit’. So yes, I do think their loved ones–the best book I ever read on the whole thing was a book titled The Message by Lance Richardson, spot on as to the Order of Heaven–our loved ones are signed to minister to us. Scott has a dream of his mother a year or so after, he’s given her a big hug so she won’t leave again, she pulls her head back and looks at him and says, “Scott, it’s my job to take care of the family.” So I believe they’re authorized. Always authorized. Always. They can’t run around on their own. Always authorized. Always authorized. I used to ask if I would ever see her, and I was told, “No. Nope. Can’t. Can’t do that. Not going to do that.” So I’ve never seen her, never been on the other side of the veil– I’ve just felt–I could tell you, because I’ve learned to listen, I’ve had a few other experiences where those on the other side have used me to deliver messages to their loved ones here who either can’t hear or are dragging their feet. I know that there’s mending that goes on the other side of the veil. People may be out of sorts with their loved ones on this side of the veil, they’re very eager and anxious to mend that relationship, and you’ve got to be able to hear that, to be able to hear, to do that. I remember getting a call from Sheila Calder, “Craig, are you dating?” I said no. She said, “Well, I had lunch today with some ladies, and there’s a lady in Connie Larson’s ward and you need to meet her.” I said, “Well, what’s her name?” And she told me your name. And I said, “Well, no, I’m not dating yet.” She said, “Listen! You need to meet her. You just need to. I’m going to send you her information.” So she sends me the information and I have no intention of making a call. None. But I’m troubled for three or four or five days. I’m troubled. So finally I think, “Okay, I need to call Connie and ask her why I need to meet this lady in her ward, Brenda.” So I called Connie, and I said, “So, Connie, tell me.” She said “I was jogging in Lambert Park last week, jogging by a bench, and this lady Brenda, from my ward, is sitting on that bench. As I run by, I hear in my mind, “Introduce her to Craig Jenkins. And I just keep right on running. And that afternoon, Mike and I, –her husband, Mike–we run into you at Costco–and I remember that, I remember bumping into him–and he heard the same thing, ‘Introduce Brenda to Craig.’” And she said, “Every time I see her in church, I hear the same thing. And we were having lunch the other day, and while I’m telling you, I ask if you’d been dating or married. And then I told you about this Brenda lady, and while I’m telling him about Brenda, she comes walking into the restaurant. So I figure, “Okay, I’ll call. I’ll call Brenda. I’ll call Brenda.” So I called her on the phone. She was a widow. Her husband had died. And she told me that when he died, good riddance. She never wanted to see him again. She certainly didn’t want to be sealed to him. He had done some things and I didn’t ask him what those things were. And she said, but in the last few years, I’ve come to believe that you can repent on the other side of the veil but I can’t find any statements from anybody that verify that principle. Now, my generation, we believe you had one chance and if you mucked it up here, you were toast. You were toast. She said, I even went to some firesides and I can’t find anything that verifies this, meaning that her husband could repent on the other side of the veil. A returned missionary married in the temple, held church positions, and then had done some things. And I said, “Well, of course you can repent. I have quotes by Packer and Maxwell and Eldridge G Smith in addition to Alma and Section 138 of the Doctrine & Covenants. I’ll send them to you.” So I sent her the quotes. I was never supposed to meet her or date her. I just had some information her husband needed to get to her. How he identified me, I have no idea. I do know that meetings are held on the other side of the veil. I got an email back from her a short time later, a week or so, thanking me for sending the articles. She had read them, she’d reread them. She had found great comfort in them. She’d shared them with some of the children, grateful for a kind heavenly Father and grateful for a husband that loved her. A husband that loved her. Because he had repented and he had to mend that relationship. So I know mending. And there’s a couple of other accounts in the book on mending relationships. The Little Soul on the Sun, True Principle, a book by Neil Donald Welch. So anyway, I talk too long. I’m sorry.
Meghan: No, you’re great. I love it. And again, I feel like this is a really relevant conversation and so hopeful too. You know, we hear things in the church about ministering angels and that the veil is thin and that our loved ones are involved. But it’s really powerful to hear very specific examples of how that is the truth. For me personally, I haven’t had a lot of close family members die. I have a grandfather who passed away in 2016 and he’s the closest person that I’ve had who has passed away so far. And I feel him sometimes and I think of him and that’s always really sweet. But I’ve had other experiences with my grandparents on my dad’s side, and neither of them were members. Both of them were quite troubled. My grandma passed away when my dad was 15 or 16, so quite young, of alcohol poisoning. And my grandfather–I had only met a couple of times–and he passed away on New Year’s Day, I don’t even know, 2015 maybe? I hadn’t known him very well, but I know that he and my dad had a hard relationship. There was a lot of neglect, and I think they probably just had their own challenges and sins and things that they were occupied with, and it impacted their children negatively. But you reminded me of an experience that my mom had in the temple a couple of years ago where they had the opportunity to do my dad’s family’s temple work, and they were at the altar doing sealings for my grandma, my dad’s mom. And my mom just heard this voice in her head–and obviously she had never met this woman in her lifetime–but she just heard this voice in her head. And she said, “I’m sorry.” And your whole story just speaks such beautiful truths about, I think, about the mercy of God. And about the mercy of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that they give us more chances than we deserve to correct things. And part of that correction is giving people an opportunity to love someone better than they did in mortality. And I know that my dad has felt healing between himself and his parents since then. So anyway, it’s an experience that wasn’t my own, and so I don’t think of it too often, but it’s something that you reminded me of.
Craig: Mending. They will mend those relationships. They’re very important. They’re eternal. They’re eternal. And they were never alone. Never alone.
Meghan: Yeah, I believe that. I believe that if we were to see–people say this all the time, but if we really were to pay attention–I think we could all see that there are always more spirits in a room than there are people.
Craig: And especially in the temple.
Meghan: Especially the temple. Yeah, especially in the temple.
Craig: Because everybody receiving an ordinance our having their work done is there with their family and friends. Always. They’re there on this side of the veil. They’re going to be there on the other side. Always. We’re never alone.
Meghan: Well, Craig, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ll be sure to include the link to your book and the blog in the show notes so that people can go and check those out. Again, I just find so much hope and strength of knowing that our loved ones are always with us and even if we’re put in a situation in the future where we lose everyone it feels hopeful knowing that they are so involved. There was one thing in the book that you hadn’t mentioned that I think is the perfect way to cap off this discussion. And it’s how there was kind of this back and forth about a miracle and maybe an expectation that Lorna was going to have that miracle of healing and that she was going to be well, before understanding that she had a choice to make. And was it Lorna, through the veil who said that the miracle was that she died?
Craig: That’s correct.
Meghan: Yeah. And I think that that is so powerful and something to keep in mind for all of us, to realize that sometimes the miracle will be our loved ones passing on and passing into a state where their ministry is uninhibited, and where they can see us and love us better than they could even while they were here.
Craig: I agree 100%. And they know the game we’re playing.
Meghan: Yeah, they do better than we do, for sure.
Craig: Oh, heavens, yeah. Heavens, yes.
Meghan: Well, thank you. Thank you for sharing Lorna with us and all the things that you’ve learned. I feel it helps to open our spiritual eyes to hear that account. So thank you.
Craig: You’re welcome. You’re welcome. You’re welcome.
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