Israel, Israel, God is Calling

If I could have three wishes, they would be…

  1. To eat chocolate any time I want to and not gain any weight.
  2. To visit my extended family whenever I want, no matter where we are all living.
  3. To teach with the fire, passion, and spirit that Elder Holland teaches with.

To me, he is a wonderful example of teaching in the Savior’s way.  He teaches pure doctrine and stands up for truth and righteousness all while speaking with powerful love and kindness.

It has been a while since I have written a post for this beautiful website.  I have missed it.  I have been busy with school work, motherhood, and everything else on my full plate.  But the spirit has been tugging on my heart and I have been pondering what kind of post I should write.  On my own blog, I have recently started writing about my experiences in the Pathway program (now called Pathway Wordwide).  I am in my last semester with that program and we are currently studying “The Family:  A Proclamation to the World”.    Through the promptings of the Holy Ghost, I have felt the need to write about the things that I am learning about God’s plan for us and our families, as diverse as they may be.

While pondering how I was going to tackle writing about sensitive subjects, my husband directed me to a talk given by Elder Holland at a 2012 Worldwide Devotional.  The talk is entitled, “Israel, Israel, God is Calling” and it…is…phenomenal.  As I have listened to it, watched it, and read it over the last week, I have felt my heart screaming, “You need to share this with someone…anyone!  I don’t care who!  Just share it!”

And so, I am sharing it here.  I know that God has given us a very important and urgent message through an Apostle–one who is appointed to give us direction here on earth–and we would be wise to give heed to the counsel given in this talk.

Because of the length of Elder Holland’s talk, I have felt that it would be best to break it down into a few sections.  That way we can savor each delicious morsel of truth and let it digest before moving on to the next.  As you read each post of this series, I invite you to do so with the spirit,

“…for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not…” -Jacob 4:13

The spirit will not teach you the things that it taught me, unless those are the things that you also need to hear at this time in your life.  But I promise you, if you read with the spirit, then He will testify to you the truth that Elder Holland has shared with us.  You will also know what you need to do to apply the teachings in your own life.

Israel, Israel, God is Calling


“For more than 4,000 years of covenantal history, this has been the pattern:  Flee and seek.  Run and settle.  Escape Babylon.  Build Zion’s protective walls.  Until now.  Until tonight.  Until this our day.”

-Jeffrey R. Holland

Our Call is to Build Zion Where We Are


I love that.

“We no longer think of Zion as where we are going to live; we think of it as how we are going to live.”

Unlike so many people we read about in the scriptures and also unlike our pioneer ancestors, we do not need to flee Babylon to find Zion.  We can create Zion where we are.

How do we create Zion where we are?

Ahh, now that is the real question, isn’t it?  How do we get rid of our “summer cottage in Babylon”, as Elder Maxwell has stated, and keep our feet firmly planted on Zion’s beautiful ground?  Elder Holland gives 3 Life Lessons in this talk that tell us how to create Zion, move there, and stay there.  I will explore each of those lessons in future posts, so please, stay tuned…



I grew up the oldest of 5 children in the blazing heat of Southern Utah. After high school and some college experience I met and married Mark Ogden and we are the parents of four children. I have owned and operated my own home-based preschool for more than a dozen years, and I consider myself an accidental author as well. When I am not in my minivan transporting children from one activity to the next, I enjoy playing the piano, blogging, speaking about my life’s experiences, and feeding my insatiable crafting disease.


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