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Dreams

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The dreams, are surely, the way of communication from God to  mankind, less understood and appreciated from almost all believers. Surely the visions have an impact a lot stronger on our imagination, in fact like Numbers 12:6 explains
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
Few people have the privilege to have a vision, but all of us have a dream almost every night. What many people don't realize is the fact that the dreams mentioned in the scriptures are truly great blessings coming from the Lord, and not because we have    bad digestion. The dreams coming from the Lord are visions of the future showed to our intellect, maybe in that same moment we have the same power that God has to   be able to see  into the future. The dreams were prophesied to be popular in the last days from the prophet Joel 2:28
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

We have here some questions.
1) Why the Lord uses  dreams to communicate to  mankind?
2) How  can it  be possible to be sure that the dream is coming from the Lord?
3) What do we have to do when  sure about that?

The first question should be the easiest: during the daily life, the people are often distracted from many things, but I truly believe that the most important thing in this case to be considered is the stress and the busy life of these last days. Reading the Book of Mormon we learn that sometimes the Holy Ghost suggests something to the people, but the person is so busy or worried about his personal problems that he is not able to listen to the whisperings of the Spirit see 1 Nephi 17:45
"Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God, Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken to you in a still small voice, BUT YE WERE PAST FEELINGS, THAT YE COULD NOT FEEL HIS WORDS.

When the people are sleeping, they finally are relaxed, and all the problems of the life are over. The eyes of the mind can  focus easier on  spiritual things.
To the second question the answer seems harder, but in reality it is not. I had several dreams in my life, I will  refer to the divine dreams, obviously, I can say, without any doubt,  that it is impossible to miss the dream when is coming from the Lord, and the scripture that I will quote will support my idea.
To the third question the answer is so ordinary, being the dream a vision of something regarding the future, we can be sure that the dream will be fulfilled in fullness, so we should live with the surety that everything will happen, like Joseph did in Egypt, regarding the 7 years of the famine, He knew that it would happen for sure.
I love the gift to have dreams from the Lord. My testimony came from a dream , and I had several more others so wonderful that I can't deny how  important they could be in the life of the people. I truly believe in dreams, not only in the dreams of the Lord, but to have dreams that they are like goals,  and maybe this could be another reason why the Lord gives us the dreams. That way we have  a goal to accomplish. They are like a carrot before the donkey. Remember our God is the best psychologist for mankind, He    understands the needs of the people.
Several other times, during my life, when I needed light and knowledge, I had dreams in which the Lord gave me the best suggestions, and the best directions.  I will share these with you at the end of this talk.

The first dream quoted in the Bible is regarding the future of Israel in Egypt and was delivered to Abraham in Genesis 15:12-13
And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not their's, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
The second one is always in Genesis 20:3
But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.

It is very interesting in this case, because we don't know if Abimelec was a follower of the same religion of Abraham, but his reaction and obedience to the dream received shows us that he had a certain knoledge of God and about the dreams, otherwise he would have ignored the dream. After this we have the dream of Jacob in Genesis 28:12
And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

This dream is referring to the 3 celestial kingdoms of glory.
Genesis 31:24
And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.

Genesis 37:5-11
And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

This is ,surely,one of the most famous dreams in the scriptures. It is interesting to note that in this dream was prophesied the leadership of the tribe of Joseph in the last days and that Jacob observed the saying.
Genesis 40:8
And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.

But the dream by which he became so popular is in Genesis 41:1-16
And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.

And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.

And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.

And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.

And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.

And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.

And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.

And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.

Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:

Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker:

And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.

And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.

And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.

Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.

And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

From these verses we learn that Pharaoh, even though he was not a follower of    Joseph's religion in  verse 8 it declares that his spirit was troubled. Like I wrote at the beginning:"It is impossible to misunderstand   the dream , if it is coming from the Lord."
1 Samuel 28:6
And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

Here we have another clue to see that the servants of the Lord hoped to receive instruction from the Lord by dreams also.
Daniel 2:1-19
And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.

And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.

Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.

The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
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But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.

They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.

The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.

But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof.

The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.

And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.

Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:
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He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.

Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.

Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:

That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Also in this case a king, not sure of Hebrew religion was troubled from a dream coming from the Lord, for this reason , I love to say again,  that when a dream is coming from the Lord you can't miss it.
We can see here that what the king was asking was something very unusual.  He demanded that the people should give to him an explanation regarding his personal dream,    without  explaining to them what the dream was. Daniel was able to give the answer because God gave to him THE SAME EXACT DREAM. It was like God put the tape in a VCR to show to another person the same movie. I believe that my ideas are pretty close in that   God's devise is different from a VCR in these 2 cases but the effect is the same, in that they were both able to receive the same dream.

To Joseph was explained in Matthew 1:20
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

The Lord Jesus Christ was saved in in childhood from a dream Matthew 2:12,19-22
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.

And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

In helping you understand the importance of dreams, I would like to give an account of 2 dreams from my own personal experience. I  hope you can share the reason why dreams have been so important to me in this life.

I was in a very difficult period of time years ago, surely one of the  busiest days on my life. I was a branch president, I had my own company, and I was at the head of a pretty large family, 8 people. I was trying to fulfill all my duties, but there was a moment in which I couldn't. I was trying to do everything,  but it was not working, and I was so frustrated that often I wished to cry. What was going on?
It so happened that I  was trying to give my best in all of those fields, without any distinctions, but it was impossible to accomplish everything at the same time. Other then being frustrated I felt exhausted.
On  top of these feelings I had this dream that gave me some wonderful insights to overcome my problems.
I was hunting,  in my dream, ( I am not a hunter) I knew what kind of bird I was hunting,  it was a beautiful bird, extraordinary. While I was walking in the woods, waiting for my prey, I thought:" maybe it is good for me to shoot at the other birds, in this way I can see if I am a good hunter, and how my aim is." The first time I killed a dozen  sparrows, I didn't miss any shots. Since the sparrows were not the birds I sought after, I gave them to the other hunters that were along with me. After that I spotted a storm of ducks, same results: I killed everyone without missing any shots. I gave them to the other hunters. I was not there for the ducks. All the while I shoot many different kinds of birds,  and I never missed  a shot. I felt so confident that when I would have spotted my bird, I knew surely it  would have been mine. It was supposed to be a lot bigger, than sparrow, and the other birds that I was shouting until that moment, so there was no way that I could nave  missed it.
As the sun was setting, I finally  saw the bird, my bird, it was flying slowly and steady, and it was coming toward me.. I felt so happy, I was ready to shoot it. I had it in my sights and I shot at it, but the sound was not a BAM, it was a terrible CLICK: I was out of bullets. I was  panicking , the bird was there and I was missing my chance,c because I wasted my time on useless, or at least less important things. A voice came in my mind and said:" When you go hunting a special kind of Bird, before shouting any other bird, you are supposed to obtain it, and after that you could use your bullets differently. Now you lost your chance to accomplish your goal.  It is true that you made  the other hunters happy  (like your customers,or the people of the world, or the members of the church). Sure you filled their baskets very well, but look at your basket, it is empty. They (the other hunters) are happy, and that is good, but you and your family  should be happy also. Man is to have joy, not to be frustrated. I was wondering what my mistake  was, and I suddenly realized that I was not putting any priority on my life, but that I was going into the woods to shoot  everything, and missing my only true goal . It is impossible to do everything at the same time, so it is necessary to establish priority. Exodus 18:13-23 taught us this principle to delegate when is possible. The prophet Joseph Smith taught: I teach the right principles and the people can lead themselves. Mosiah 4:26-27

I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor,every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritualli and temporally, according to their wants. AND SEE THAT ALL THESE THINGS ARE DONE IN WISDOM AND ORDER, FOR IT IS NOT REQUISITE THAT A MAN SHOULD RUN FASTER THA HE HAS STRENGH. AND AGAIN, IT IS EXPEDIENT THAT HE SHOULD BE DILIGENT, THAT THEREBY HE MIGHT WIN THE PRIZE; THEREFORE, ALL THINGS MUST BE DONE IN ORDER.

What a great lesson the Lord gave me.


Another time the Lord appeared to me in a dream, and He was rebuking me for a certain reason that at the beginning I could not understand. Since I was trying to justify for myself I said: Lord I always  pray to you.
and He answered : Your prayers come to the throne of God, but I am not listening. I felt that He was upset regarding something concerning my habit in praying.  I felt there was more, but I couldn't recognize it perfectly. So I was going on trying to defend myself again:"Lord on every Saturday and Sunday, I am trying to do my best in the church and I am serving you faithfully, and I see miracles and inspiration in what I am doing. And He with his sword so sharp told me again:" It is for the keys that you still possess and that still I haven't taken from you that  this is happening, and even for the faith of the members of the church that are honoring the position that you represent. I am not a fool like the man that sometimes is able to do spite to himself  to  spite somebody else. My work, my church is supposed to grow and progress in spite of  human imperfections, but one day you will give me a personal account of your life and the ministry   I gave you. Once more I tried to reply: Lord I am sacrificing so much, and I am working most of the time, 13 or 14 hours a day.
"For who?" He said" For the Franceschini's family, right? or  do you want to count on me in that which is  your only personal benefit?
For the last time I was asking one more time, but this time because I'd like to understand why He was so upset with me: It is true but every Saturday and Sunday I work entirely for your church, even doing many sacrifices." "Are you doing this work with the same salt like you once did?
This was the ingredient that I was missing, and also the last part of my last declaration EVEN DOING MANY SACRIFICES, meant that I was doing that like a sacrifice not  with joy. He answered to me with a question, that bottom line was the entire answer of all the discussion. Once, several years ago I said a true thing, talking from the pulpit, no for habit but for love. I was missing the most important ingredient in the Gospel: the Love. I was doing everything because I had to, not because I wanted to do. If you consider that the Gospel without love it doesn't exist, you can understand why the Lord was so upset with me, I was missing the entire plan of God which   is based on Love, because he gave His Firstborn to save the world, and because He has so much Love for the world.    I am so grateful for my dreams, and I really hope to have more of them in the future. It doesn't' matter if the Lord will rebuke me again, because the Lord chastens those whom He loves.

 

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