Saturday, March 29, 2014

Miracles Part 2

"Miracles From the Other Side"

I will write a whole blog about the miracles and thin-veil experiences we have witnessed and been a part of in the Holy House of the Lord doing Family History. But I want to just share two experiences that happened in connection with that most sacred work.

When we were literally called by those on the other side of the veil and inundated with the Spirit of Elijah, we begin doing family history for Jim's family in the late 1990's. I took comfort in words from Jim's patriarchal blessing promising that the very means and information would be handed to me. So I started to question around his family asking if they knew of any genealogy that had been done by the family. Jim's cousin Liz thought she remembered that there was a book done by the Ventura Historical Society on the Del Valle family. It was Ysabel's maternal line that had been given a Spanish Land Grant in the early 1800's named Camulos Ranch. (It was made a National Landmark and the only remaining working Spanish land grant ranch in existence.)

I called the Ventura Society and was told they would check and get back to me. Only a few hours later a very surprised worker from the Society called. He told me in a excited voice that their group had been going through cleaning out old boxes left in their storage and had come across a box of books containing the genealogy of the Del Valles going back to the early 1700's. He told me how fortunate I was because they were ready to throw them away the NEXT DAY!! I bought two of the books on the spot that have allowed us to do the work for hundreds of Del Valles and Crams, all the information handed to me in that book! A blessed miracle for me and for them!

During this period we had another experience that confirmed how important the work was that we were doing. We had decided to get away for a weekend and go down to St. George. It was in early spring and the roads were treacherous. We were just outside Nephi (the worst part of the trip) when we hit a patch of slush going 75 MPH that caused our Landcruiser to hydroplane and begin to spin. Next to us was a very large semi-cab not pulling a trailer. As we begin to spin we slammed into the side of the Semi. The Semi spun around tapping the rear of our car back into a straight line and then spun into the medium facing the opposite direction. We were able to hold on to the wheel, go down a steep embankment and then come to rest back at the top of the freeway, facing the way we had been going. There was NO WAY we should not have flipped many times over going that speed, but there we sat with only a bumped head and a totalled car. There was something else in that car with us. We literally felt the arms of protection around us from those whose work we were doing; an absolute knowledge that we had work yet to do and they needed us safe to do it. We were not finished. This is the power of Family History. This blog is a continuation of the work not yet complete that needs to be done before we are done. Miracles abound when you are involved in the great work of Family History. We can attest to that!!

"The Power of a Sister's Prayer"

Both Bri and Megan had such powerful experiences around their mission call and missions. The Lord's hand was in both their lives. It is for them to record their amazing experiences. There is one, though, that our whole family was a witness to that I want to record. It makes me cry every time I remember it and the sweetness of the feelings that attended it.

After Megan's divorce she had to work for over 2 years to FINALLY be allowed to serve her mission. She was such an example of submission and surrender. It truly humbled me to watch as she faithfully did EVERYTHING the Stake President required of her. And though I murmured occasionally, she never did murmur. There were times she got discouraged. It was then the Lord kept a promise He had made to her in her patriarchal blessing that he would answer her prayers in the scriptures. She went many times and just opened her scriptures where she would be totally assured that she would serve a mission. "Wherefore go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, if mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss. Therefore, declare the things which ye have heard, and verily believe, and know to be true. Behold, this is the will of him who hath called you, your Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Amen. (D&C 80) She was blessed to be called to Micronesia Guam mission. Like Bri's call it was perfect for her.

At the time of her call Bri had been struggling to become pregnant. She and Dan had a deep desire to begin their family and had been married at that time for almost 6 years. As a family we continually prayed for that blessing for them.

The day arrived for Megan to enter the MTC. It was wonderful that we had our whole family there to see her off. We had spent a sweet morning sharing and then it was time to leave for the MTC. Jim called all of us together to have a final family prayer and asked Megan if she would offer it.

Now I think all of us supposed that Megan would pray for safety and success on her mission, that she would be able to be the kind of missionary the Lord expected. I believe every one of us was surprised when she never mentioned any of that. Instead, Megan reminded the Lord of the price she had paid to become a missionary. Then, claiming the power of the mantle of her calling as a missionary she begged heaven to come down and be upon her sister Bri and fill her womb. We were all stunned and then the I felt my tears begin as we listened to this sister beg for the blessing of motherhood for her older sister Bri. By time the prayer was over everyone was in tears. It was so tender, yet so powerful. Such a demonstration of love between two sisters.

It was only two weeks after Megs left on her mission that Bri's womb WAS FILLED! Megan has always claimed partial ownership in Caleb; the prize of a faithful missionary prayer!

(There is certainly power in missionary prayers. We were only out on our mission for 2 weeks when we received word that Bri was miraculously pregnant a third time; no outside help, no multiple miscarriages, just blessed once again by missionary service. God is so GOOD!)

"Selling Digital Gateway"

Digital Gateway, Jim's final company, ended up being one of the biggest trials in our life and providing our greatest financial blessing. For 12 years Jim sweated it out, carrying a load that would have killed any other man. Yet he endured. In the end the sale of DGI was what allowed us to take care of our children and grandchildren and pay for our missions.

Jim had other companies coming to him for years offering to buy DGI but the time was never right. Then there came a time in 2011 when spiritually we just knew it was time to wrap up our life and go serve. Where's the miracle you ask? When Jim sold DGI part of the deal was that he would stay and run the company for another 18 months, which he did. It continued to perform brilliantly. But at the close of that year Ron, the buyer, came to Jim and told him that if we had waited for only one more year to sell DGI its value would have decreased by fifty percent because Wall Street had downgraded the whole copier industry. He told Jim that we would never have gotten close to the amount that had been paid for the company. This news only added to our motivation to serve a mission. We recognize that it literally has been paid for because of God's direction in our life. How grateful we were that we had ears to hear. We owe Him EVERYTHING!

"A Home for the Watts"

Two years ago we determined that the Watts living in Linden was too far away and they needed a new start in a new neighborhood. For the next several months I spent every day on-line searching for houses around our neighborhood. There was absolutely nothing for months. Then we happened upon a house only 4 blocks away. It was very understated on the outside but amazing on the inside and it was in a fabulous neighborhood. We fell in love with the owners, a young family who happened to be the daughter of a man that worked in Jim's office and who Jim totally admired and respected. They were needing to get out of the payment which was burying them. From the very beginning we felt very strongly that we needed to buy this house.

Earlier on the very day we were to show Greg the house Jim had met with Tyler Hortin, his accountant, and had written two huge checks to cover taxes after the sell of DGI. They had a tax question for Daron and had gone over to his office to ask him. While there, Daron mentioned that one of Jim's salesman had called that morning telling Daron about a tax benefit for founders of companies. The salesman had checked to see if he qualified and realized the only one that might qualify would be Jim. When Tyler heard this he said he would check into it immediately.

When we took Greg later that afternoon to see the house he instantly fell in love with it. We realized that if we were to buy the home it would bless the owners and give Greg and the kids a wonderful neighborhood to live in along with a wonderful new ward. Still it was a huge chunk of money that would need to come out of our retirement.

As we drove home from the house with Greg and the kids in the car we got a phone call from Tyler. As Jim talked he got more and more animated. He hung up and informed all of us that indeed he did qualify for the tax break and we would receive a tax refund for the EXACT PRICE of the home; the exact amount! This miracle blessed willing grandparents, a righteous young family trying to get out of debt, and our grandchildren and son-in-law who needed to know they were loved and part of a family that cared. It was a miracle indeed!

These are just a few of the miracles we've experienced in our lives. They have been a sweet testimony to a Father who loves us and is aware of our needs. We are eternally grateful for His hand manifested to our family. But the greatest miracle is watching our children strive to live the gospel, do good, raise up our precious grandchildren to the Lord and be loyal to their covenants. This is our greatest miracle for which we will eternally rejoice!


  1. I am so so grateful for the missionary service that has brought us 2 out of 3 of our kids! Getting Codi here was such a HUGE trial, so this little one just seems like such a miracle to me. The simplicity of this one coming to us has brought us SUCH JOY!

  2. Man, it is crazy how many actual miracles we have had in our family. How could we feel anything but loved from our Heavenly Father. Thank you for recording these! I will make a book of this blog as soon as you guys get home and your stories have all been recorded so that we can have a written copy of our Phillips' stories. They truly are miraculous!

  3. Great posts Starla. I can picture your grandchildren reading all of these posts one day when they are in the mission field.