Thomas S. Monson Vision and Others As Well

By Nicole Hilton, June 4th, 2018

            Last night, after we had three sets of people from different central American countries over for dinner and I drove one of them home (D—I tried to help him also with his suicidal feelings), I still felt depressed as I sat downstairs in my rocking chair. Mom sat there next to me. I said,

            “I just want to leave. I’ve never ever healed here. I’ve only gotten worse. Why am I back here?”

            Mom came to my side and knelt down. “Did you ever think that I need you here?”   

            I raised my eyes to meet hers. I didn’t want to start crying, but I started to. Really? I thought. Could this be?

            “Nicole, I know I’ve helped you so much…but you’ve helped me just as much as I’ve helped you.”

            How? I just take and take and take. Does my mom really need me here? Do I have anything to contribute?

            We stared into each other’s eyes and it was a sweet and tender moment for us. I tried to believe her—I wanted to believe her.

I went to bed with a mixture of prayer, hope, and sadness in my heart, still very much confused about which path I should take, what my purpose is, and plagued with feelings of depression throughout my whole body.

            Then, President Thomas S. Monson came to me in a vision at 4 AM. The dream/vision seemed to be more of my version of true reality than this world has ever been.

            I was upstairs in my old bedroom—the one with all the clouds painted on the walls. There was a bed in the room and it felt like the safest room in the house for me. I think that’s why Heavenly Father chose it as the scene for this experience.

            I was reading my scriptures and suddenly, there was President Monson, who has just passed away some months ago! I started up to my feet, surprised. He smiled at me as if to say, Well, why are you surprised?

          I felt like I was still 29 years old, but also like a little child. I oscillated between the two states of being and stood there excitedly, wringing my hands in a childlike fashion, stepping from one foot to the other.

            “Oh, dear President Monson!” I said. I ran over in front of him and looked up at his kind wrinkled eyes, then we hugged. I was surprised and absolutely delighted. “Well, I’ll just sit down here…” he said, sitting upon the hardwood floor up against the wall.

            “What? Are you sure? Please, come sit on the bed! What about…?” I was going to say, your old bones, but then I blushed and I didn’t.

            “Oh, don’t worry about me,” he said. I think he knew exactly what I was about to say, and he found it funny.

            He seemed to enjoy sitting on the floor. I ran around the room, gathering up every pillow I could, and I stuffed them behind his back and under his knees as respectfully as I could. Since pondering on this, I realized that he sat on the floor because I normally like to sit on the floor…and he knew it.

This was no ordinary dream…it was a full-blown vision. I could tell that he was way more than a figment of my imagination. His great spirit filled the room and I felt so happy. Later, reading in How to Receive Your Second Comforter, this passage perfectly explained the experience: “With the spiritual eyes, in vision, they [your angelic visitor] will be glorious and brilliant, but you will feel comfortable in their presence. You will know it is a real experience, because the clarity and fluidity of thought and communication will be sublime, invigorating, and sacred.”

             I knew the Holy Ghost was directing this vision and I was, indeed, meeting with a prophet of God. What a guest of honor! Here in my own bedroom! And to think…for some reason I feel perfectly at ease in his presence! I was shocked that I didn’t feel at all shameful or uneasy in the presence of this great man. I was especially surprised that Heavenly Father had sent him, because I never really had had a strong connection with him as a prophet. I had followed him as best as I could, and I appreciated him, but I hadn’t felt the same for him as I had felt for President Hinckley when I was growing up.

            Yet, my small testimony grew greater moment by moment while he sat there before me, until it grew into a sure knowledge—this was one of God’s prophets for the latter days.

            I sat on my bed, nervously at first—yet still delighted he was here. He started talking to me in his kind story-like manner. He asked me a lot of questions. Questions like, “How are things at the DI?” and, “Are you worried about the volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawaii and South America?” I replied that working at the DI was very hard sometimes for me, but that I was grateful for the friends I’ve been able to make there and people I’ve been able to help, and that I wasn’t worried at all about the devastating volcanoes but that I hoped the tribulations would come quickly. I chatted away about wanting to live in the terrestrial world.

            He chatted away, too. He was everything a kind and considerate grandparent should be. I knew he knew everything about me—he’d been briefed on my life and sent here by the Savior Himself to chat with me. I knew this through and through. I was delighted that I was getting the kind of attention I have so longed for and desired in the past couple of weeks. I was thrilled to be talking to someone I knew I could trust completely. I knew that this man could, indeed, speak for Christ and that I could be myself with him. There was no pretense—no falseness or hiding as I sat there with him. I felt a huge burden being lifted off of me. I realized that here was a man in front of my very eyes that I could be 100% genuine with. No one—none of my mentors even—had earned that kind of trust with me.

            I reflected later on why that is. Why do I feel so out of place in this world with all its people—even the ones who have the kindest hearts and intentions? I realized… it is because I don’t trust a single human being completely. They haven’t seen my life or really known what I’ve been through. Yet I knew, looking into President Monson’s kind face, that he had. And I wanted him to—I wanted him to read me like a book. I felt I had nothing to hide and everything had been forgiven by my Savior. Here was evidence right before my eyes.

            He put me perfectly at ease with his easy going and amiable manner. I wish I could remember our whole conversation. He spoke about deep things of the heart—things I yearned to speak about but hadn’t been quite able to express to others in the world.

            Then, he quoted something to me (I wish I could remember what he said). I was sitting on the bed with my hands on my knees. “Do you know which section of the Doctrine and Covenants that’s in?” I gripped my knees tightly—oh no! A test! I blurted out the first thing that came into my mind: “D&C 88?”

            “That’s good. You remembered!” He laughed a bit. He knew and understood about my memory problem! He smiled and then I rushed to get my scriptures and we studied, I believe, verses 11-13 together.

            After thinking about this part of the vision, I realized that it was an assurance from God to me about my memory. There is no way normally I could have recalled a chapter or verse from the scriptures—though I’ve tried to memorize them many, many times. Here was clear evidence that everything I have learned was still there, being kept safe by Jesus Christ and accessible with the Holy Ghost’s assistance.

            “Actually, I think that the whole of Section 88 would be good for you to study,” he suggested. I took him very seriously and I said that I would study it, and take it personally to heart.

            He said so many kind things to me, and complimented me. He was informed and open to talking about anything I wanted to talk about. He understood.

            Soon, almost crying, I couldn’t help but join him on the floor and embrace him. He held me for the longest time, and I cried with joy. I felt like a child in his arms—like his most beloved granddaughter. I finally knew this man was a prophet from God! And Jesus Christ had sent him here to comfort me and instruct me!

            Soon we held each other at arms length and just looked at each other with pure love and adoration for each other.

            He had been speaking to me for about 10-15 minutes—much longer than any previous heavenly visitor I remember experiencing (except for Christ in the jail cell). I assumed that he’d be there forever—or for a few more hours at the very least! I got up and turned to call my mom or my brother Daniel to come and meet the prophet, but then when I turned back to the wall, he was gone.

            I woke, or came out of the vision, at 4 am, the sacred hour when the veil is the thinnest.

            It took time to reorient myself in this realm. I had just been physically cuddled by President Monson as if I were his two year old grandchild! For about a minute I didn’t realize I was alone in my bed in 2018. I was soaking up so much love from the other side of the veil and I was basking in it.

            I then realized I’d had a sacred dreamalthough, really, I think it was traveling to an actual place or dimension prepared for my spirit, to meet President Monson. I realized that I needed to record it before it faded away. Already, specific bits of our conversation were fading fast from my memory. I recorded the dream or vision as best I could and then I read D&C 88.

            I felt the spirit deeply when I read about being a part of the Church of the Firstborn…I had the spirit testify to me that those first verses held meaning for me—especially when I was working out the next day. I still didn’t really believe it. I also felt Jesus Christ teaching me about the light which is in my eyes, and urging me to increase in His light. I marveled that I had seen God moving in His majesty and power. I knew that the day was going to come when I shall be able to comprehend God and be “quickened” by Him. I felt a personal charge from Christ to “labor in the field”. I knew that I needed to continue to seek, ask, and find Jesus Christ…and that He would reveal Himself to me in my own “season”. I learned about how to pray better. I was charged to continue in the prayers and fasting I had been doing, and to not be weary or give up.

Prepare to magnify your calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.

            Not many days hence, the earth shall tremble and real to and fro.

            Above all else, clothe yourself with the bond of charity. Pray always. I come quickly.

            I felt that night and all through the next day that I had received a divine commission. But, for what? To be a missionary at the DI? To write? To move to Farmington, or to stay here and try to heal at home? To be a missionary for my ancestors on the other side of the veil? To get my second comforter—again? What?

Even though I was still confused, I went through the day as if I was walking on air. I didn’t want to stop having these experiences. I don’t. I want to get to the point A— is at—to have visions and to be that close to God every single night. To receive that kind of comfort daily. I don’t want these experiences to be few and far between ever again.

            After pondering this some more, I watched a video online entitled President Thomas S. Monson: On the Lord’s Errand. Emphasized again and again was the fact that President Monson was always known for ministering to the one. He was pure charity and genuine love. At the end of the video, I felt to write down a quote which answered part of my question of what my divine commission is.

            “We read in Proverbs the admonition, ponder the path of thy feet. As we do, we will have the faith—even the desire—to walk the path which Jesus walked. The Savior’s example provides a framework for everything that we do, and His words provide an unfailing guide. His path will take us safely home.” His words stirred my soul. I felt the spirit saying, there are always reasons I send specific people to you. I sent Joseph Smith to you to teach you about temple prisons. I sent Enoch to you for very specific reasons, and because his weakness and your weakness of feeling unloved, unwanted, and unable to speak were the same. I now send Thomas S. Monson to you because he was in the business of writing, reading, and being on the Lord’s Errand and administering to The One. Study the lives of these great men, and you will be led along the sure path back into my presence in this life.

            I have, both before and after this vision, studied the words and lives of Joseph Smith, Enoch, and President Monson. I will continue to do so, and I also look forward to further study of D&C 88. I was surprised to find out that the “Olive Leaf” section of the Doctrine and Covenants was the very same one in my study with Lynn’s group of the “40 Points of Sanctification”.

            A few days later, after sending Teri Stephens an excited message about Thomas S. Monson visiting me, she surprised me further by telling me that WINGS, the healing modality she uses, was developed around D&C 88, and that there is a WINGS training at the end of this month! I go to see her on Friday, and she has invited me to do Theta Healing on her in exchange for an hour long massage and WINGS session. I will talk to her about taking her course then, though I can’t imagine how I will afford it. That’s never stopped you before, has it? The Spirit says. It’s amazing how the Lord leads me.

            Further dreams happened that night after my vision of President Monson. They were sweet and very vivid, but didn’t have quite the same “flavor” as the Monson vision. It was like I was getting glimpses of the future, but through a dark glass.

            In the first one, I was sitting on a beach somewhere with very beautiful people around my age sitting along with me. We were talking and laughing. They were not LDS, but very in tune with Spirit/Love and meditation—new age type people. I mentioned that I was Mormon and they were shocked. Then, to my great surprise, after talking some more, a beautiful girl and (I think) her boyfriend both volunteered readily to come to church with me. There was no having to convince them or do traditional missionary work with them…they recognized my light, they had been prepared, and they were ready.

            The dream was so sweet and I wanted to stay in it, however someone was tapping me—tap tap tap!—on my collarbone trying to wake me up. I didn’t want to wake, yet I finally did in frustration. I woke, inception-like, to find myself in yet another dream/possible future event.

            I was laying down staring up into my brother Daniel’s face.

            “Welcome to the 1800’s!!!” he cried, joyfully.

            What?

            I sprang to my feet. I was surrounded with 6 or so men and women, including my brother, and they were all beautiful and young. They laughed at my surprise, and briefed me on what was happening. We were in a Victorian-style house, in the parlor, awaiting a family to come home. I’m not sure if we were ministering angels, if we were translated, or if this occurred before my lifetime right now and I was remembering this, or we were sent back during the 1,000 years of peace to minister to this family. I’m thinking it was the latter.

            “Just whisper whatever the Spirit tells you to in their ears. We are going to help them with—“ and then one of the people told me the family’s problems. These other angels felt like they were my family.

            We all understood each other, and my memory slowly came back. These were my best friends and family in the whole world! I was so loved by them! I was on a mission, and I had a divine purpose! I was needed!

            I gazed into a mirror, and I saw the same beautiful Nicole that I saw in my vision of the cave. I was thin, with perfect skin, and long wavy hair which had a chestnut and blonde hue.

            The family came home—a mother, father, and their sick son—and I tried my best. I stumbled over many things and I was very awkward.

            One of the angels was a great singer. He started to sing truths to them. I had a feeling that, in another dimension, there were Satan’s angels trying to sway the family to their side, and we were providing the opposition to that. I was delighted to realize that we all had distinct gifts in waging this war against the adversary, and that I had gifts to offer as well!

            I eventually got my bearings, and my voice came back! I started to remember how to sing pure frequencies and intelligence into the air, and my voice was ringing with purity and light. I sang to the family, and the mother started to become aware of me because she was more in-tune than the other humans.

            I can’t remember much of the dream, but I know we helped them.

            After the family left the parlor—and I believe their son had been healed, the mother turned around and said, “this is for the awkward goddess who has been singing in my ear all day,” and she set a golden pin shaped like a rose upon a seat.

            They closed the front door, and it was truly like a party in there. We celebrated with much laughter and hugs all around. Daniel was prancing around being entirely silly, glorying in our accomplishment. Daniel, the other angels, and I were so filled with bliss and pure joy, which comes from accomplishing a great work and bringing souls back to God and a better state of peace and health.

            We knew our current assignment was over, and we were going to go back to wherever we came from. I picked up the pin.

            “Can I keep this?”

            The leader of our group smiled. “She gave it to you, didn’t she?”

            I tucked it into a pocket. I had the sense that I had a home I was going back to, and many treasures such as this, which were the beautiful trophies of jobs well done. Then the vision ended.

For Those of Us With Suicidal Ideation in Psychosis

By Nicole Hilton, April 22nd, 2018

And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils for a long time, and he would wear no clothes, neither abode in a house, but in the tombs. And no man could bind him, no, not with chains; because that he had been often bound with fetters, and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness; neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones so that no man could pass that way. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and cried out and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirits to come out of the man.) Jesus commanded him saying, Declare thy name. And he answered, saying, My name is Legion; because many devils were entered into him….And [Christ] said unto them, Come out of the man….and [the people] came to Jesus and saw him that was possessed with the devil, and had the Legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind; and they were afraid. And they that saw the miracle, told them that came out, how it befell him that was possessed with the devil, and how the devil was cast out, and concerning the swine. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about, immediately besought Jesus to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil, spoke to Jesus, and prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit, Jesus suffered him not, but said unto him, Go home to they friends and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis, throughout the whole city, how great things Jesus had done for him; and all that heard him did marvel.

Like Uchtdorf, I’m going to use airplanes to illustrate a principle.

Everyone’s journey through life is like flying an airplane.

Some flights are a slow and steady rise with a bit of turbulence.

Some skyrocket up to the sky.

Some meander around in loops and circles.

Some come so close to the ground the watching crowd is left breathless. They might even lose a wheel or two, or dent a wing.

But the pilot’s airplane is still fly-able. They can still work their way—however slowly—up to the sky. They have that ability. They have their gift of Agency.

For those of us with mental illness, which brings us to the point of suicide or leaving our bodies because of the pain, it’s like a violent plummet downwards, resulting in a terrific crashing and burning.

Then we are told we need to pick up the pieces and actually make that shell of a burnt out plane sky-worthy again.

How can this be possible? When you lose your mind, your ability to reason—to have agency with the body you’ve been given, it’s analogous to an engine burning out or being struck by lightening and falling from the sky.

Of course, there were things you could have done to prevent it from happening. But that’s all in the past, and now you are plummeting straight for the ground and you hit it like a meteor.

Miraculously, some survive and leave the burning wreckage, only to have to turn around and head back into the fray after the plane is cooled down enough.

How can one pick up the pieces and become sky worthy again? Have you seen the photos of such airplanes? It seems impossible.

But the Father and the Son are the greatest mechanics of all time. They can do it. They have done it for me, and they will do it for you.

I say to my dissociated parts or to people who are reading this who have dissociation, go back into the burning airplane.

Have Faith.

You will be put back in your body, and the Father and the Son will give you that one percent of agency back with which to fight.

They will send angels on this side of the veil.

They will send angels on the other side of the veil.

You’ve got to fight and exercise faith.

He will put out the flames. He will command the metal to eventually resume it’s original pristine shape. He will command new elements to be built into your aircraft. And you will be more glorious than before. I know this from experience.

And you’ll fly as high as you want to go.

The Godmother Game

By Nicole Marie Hilton, March 2018

            I discovered this trick while walking around Costco today. I was a bit sullen because there was a huge blemish on my face, which felt like the size of Jupiter. Honestly, I didn’t want to look anyone straight in the eye, and I quickly pushed my cart towards my destination (a big bag of lemons in the fruit section).

            While I quickly maneuvered the enormous cart around equally hurried and harried people, I started thinking about the movie Wonder, which I saw recently with my mother. It’s about a young fifth grader who was born with a facial deformity and who has had to endure surgery after surgery to even look passable. Even then, he endures the most intense bullying at the hands of his peers.

            While I thought about this character, I thought about what it would feel like to have my face taken away and replaced with something more like the boy’s in Wonder. It was somewhere around the milk aisle where I came up with what I call The Godmother Game.

            The Godmother Game is where you choose something in your life you really, really cherish. It might even be something that you haven’t thought about—like your ability to walk, or your face. Once you have chosen the item (or person, place, or thing), spend a couple minutes meditating on what it would be like if you had never had that thing. Really go into detail here. Use your imagination. (Most of us with mental illnesses are actually quite fantastic at using our imaginations…this is something I’ve noticed. Go on—try it!) Imagine, if you will, that you couldn’t walk from the day you were born or that you were born with a facial deformity. Imagine how different your life might have been.

            Now, after doing this meditation (and it really can be done anywhere), imagine that your Fairy Godmother shows up right beside you. Mind you, your Fairy Godmother can look like just about anyone. (I chose my Savior, Jesus Christ.) Now imagine that your Fairy Godmother waves a magic wand, and POOF! The thing that you never ever had is suddenly bestowed upon you.

            I’m sure the people who were walking towards me were confused when I went from being sullen and stressed to beaming in .023 seconds flat. My shoulders squared up and I cheerfully said, “Hi!” to the couple who were walking towards me. I couldn’t believe it! I had a face! I had a gorgeous wonderful amazing face! I felt like I had just won the lottery. I had experienced life with a facial deformity, and now I had a face that any mother would be proud of. 

            I marched around Costco feeling like I had a new lease on life. The smile on my face was so large, some people were staring. But really, I couldn’t wipe it off! I said hello to multiple people and even joked with a lady in the checkout.  I was so grateful to have my face, and I’ve had a happy heart for the rest of the day—where before I would have been sad for the rest of the day.

            I know that it is hard to hear quotes like this one, from Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “We can choose to be grateful, no matter what,” especially when you are suffering from depression. If this trick doesn’t work, trust me: I get it. I’ve been dealing with depression for twenty two years, and only just now have I come up with this trick. And why did I come up with it now? Because I’m finally ready—and healed enough—to receive it. So be patient with yourself.

            I’ll end with a quote from our late prophet, Thomas S. Monson, “Regardless of our circumstances each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.” For those of us who aren’t dealing with depression, or who have enough strength to play The Godmother Game with enough imagination to make it work, I testify that we truly do have the ability to be grateful with just a bit of contemplation of our innumerable blessings.

From the Dust: My Susa Young Gates Experience

By Nicole Marie Hilton, September 28th, 2016

On the 21st of September, 2016, I found myself leaning up against the face of a granite headstone, reading an old book whose spine was so broken and cracked with age I had been surprised to find it. But there it had been—nestled on a common shelf in the Americana Collection of the Harold B. Lee Library. The book was a first edition of a pioneer novel, entitled John Steven’s Courtship: A Story of the Echo Canyon War. The modest headstone on which my back rested against was tucked away in an obscure corner of the Provo Cemetery, and it bore the name of GATES. Below her eternal companion’s name was the name of Susa Young, 1856-1933.

I had approached Susa Young Gates’ grave—the author of the novel in hand—that overcast day with mixed reverence and curiosity. And I would leave my graveside meeting with her almost overcome with respect for her artistry and her testimony of God. Despite life’s worst oppositions, hers is a voice which, “crying from the dust,” still has the power to teach and to instill courage in the beating hearts of today.

Susa’s life was rife with golden achievements. Better pens than mine have shed illumination on her successes and triumphs as a women’s advocate and suffragist, an educator, leader, missionary, and pioneer at the turn of the century. She has been described as “the most versatile and prolific LDS writer ever to take up the pen in defense of her religion”.

But, even more compelling to me in my studies, was the anguish of heart that she carried with her throughout her life, and the concrete resolve—cemented by her unwavering faith in Jesus Christ—which lent bravery to her words and actions, despite this ever-present anguish. She lived her life with vision—her actions wouldn’t make sense to one who hasn’t gazed through an expanded Gospel lens.

Months before, I had first seen her face on a poster. I couldn’t shake the feeling, despite being completely unqualified, that I needed to learn and write about her. I had the feeling that I knew this woman, a feeling inexplicable.

I learned, to my shock, that I share many experiences—and even an ancestry—with her. It is common knowledge among the BYU community that she lost eight children to divorce, accident, and illness—facts which haunted her during life. But she also endured six miscarriages—a pain I have also felt. Like me, against her parent’s wishes, she married as a teenager and suffered a heartbreaking divorce five years later. And, like me, she suffered an emotional and physical breakdown, which halted her life—and her mission—for a time. In all her behavior, she was a walking contradiction—a “study in contrasts”: she could be compliant, yet inflexible, sweet yet saucy, unorthodox yet traditional, impatient—yet kindhearted. In my own struggles with bipolar disorder, being a struggling writer, and living a life full of my own contradictions, I saw myself in Susa Young Gates. I felt that if I shared similar sorrows and traits with such a woman, perhaps this meant I could also have the courage to continue and to endure amongst my own trails.

Her father, Brigham Young, commented that reading a novel—let alone writing one—was akin to “swallowing poisonous herbs”. Susa delighted in adhering to his counsel—that is, unless her integrity demanded otherwise. True to form, Susa wrote two glorious novels—novels full of romance and action, words replete with substance and life lessons learned the hard way.

Leaning against her gravestone, I looked over the top of the book, which was falling apart. In contrast, with each new page and passing hour, her noble character fell together a little more for me. I imagined her figure—always so upright and stately in photographs—stooped over one of the small, weathered markers before me, weeping over yet another beloved child, laid to rest in the same ground I sat upon. A line from her book applies to her, and to all of us—the many Latter-day Saint women struggling with illness and loss: she grieved as deeply as she loved. Despite being shattered again and again, Susa still saw the beauty in life and lived it to the full with love.

She lived her life with conviction, too. Her life and her novel testified to me that even though we experience guilt and heartache, broken promises and even death, the power of God is manifested in His ability to take our broken lives of sorrow and make them extraordinary, even joyful.

I realized that the bones crumbling into dust beneath me were much less of Susa Young Gates than the strong presence I felt beside me. Her words were a comfort to me, a fellow traveler going through parallel life experiences. Generations separated us, and yet we were as close as two friends could be.

It was then that I decided to finally try my hand at writing, and trust God to turn my paltry efforts into words that could, perhaps, influence some girl far in the future who might need them. Who knows? Words have a strange way of resurrecting, speaking as voices from the dust. Turning the last page, I sighed and looked about me, the sky darkening. I decided to arise. I would arise a better woman, with a more fervent faith in God and a resolved courage to face whatever life would bring me.

Susa Young Gates, my first cousin, five times removed, said it best through one of her characters, “I have proved that God will help even the weakest of us to improve and get strong, if we will continually seek Him for help and light.”

She did, and I will too.

Nicole Marie Hilton, 27, is an aspiring writer who has been attempting to graduate from BYU from 2007 until this year. She has struggled with bipolar and panic disorder, a broken back, divorce, homelessness, and has been in and out of many hospitals, padded cells, and jails throughout her struggle. Each of these has become a Temple Prison for her. She considers the current health of her brain as her greatest success, one which has been gained through continually seeking the face of her Savior, Jesus Christ. The talk, “Like a Broken Vessel,” was inspired, in part, by her story. She will finally graduate as a BGS student, English Emphasis, Spring 2017, ten years after her journey began. Her current favorite scripture is Isaiah 52:2.

Hilarity in Heaven

featuring Do You Wanna Build a Snowman Parody and other things

by Nicole Marie Hilton, Thursday, October 6th, 2022

If there’s one thing that will help you get through anything, it’s faith–the belief that you are alive for a reason and that life is worth living–even if you have to cling to life by the skin of your teeth.

This also ties into hope. I have the hope that I will be able to bring Heaven here on earth. I hope that Jesus Christ is hearing me, and even responding to me when I can’t feel it.

But, sometimes…you’ve just gotta laugh. I’ve found out that there are times to laugh, times to cry, times to let yourself feel bad about a situation, and times to hope that a silver lining is coming soon.

And sometimes, it takes faith and hope to laugh.

I’ve had this kind of faith and hope before, and I’m sure I’m exercising it again.

So here’s a couple of movies, pictures, conversations–what-have-you–that I’ve made in the past with friends, sometimes during the darkest times in my life–I hope that they will provide a nice distraction from whatever hard thing is happening in your life.

Enjoy!

Once, I was looking up with my name means. Afterwards, I remembered that my first married name was “Nicole Hack,” so I looked up what that meant as well.

I could just hear Jesus laughing…

How does a polygamist hippie count his wives? 1 Mrs. Hippie, 2 Mrs. Hippie, 3 Mrs. Hippie…(I figured he’d just give up when he got too high)

After losing three fingers on my right hand, I asked my doctor if I’d still be able to write with it. She replied, “maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it.”

Noah had just landed the ark. He told all of the animals to go forth and multiply. And then he saw two snakes sitting in a corner, crying. He asked them, “What’s going on? I told you to go forth and multiply!” The snakes replied, “Yeah, we know–but we’re adders.”

Never buy flowers from a monk…remember, only YOU can prevent Florist Friars.

What kind of tea is hard to swallow? Reality.

What did the green grape say to the purple grape? “OH MY GOSH! BREATHE! BREATHE!”

Yes, that’s me

And the Lord said unto John, “Come fourth and receive Eternal Life…” but John came fifth and won a toaster.

And now, a little bit of wisdom from my alter-ego, Dorcus Dixon:

Levels of Exaltation, Devilish Devices, and The White City

By Nicole Marie Hilton, Friday, October 7, 2022

            I spoke on the phone with a man in, I think, 2019 who has the ability to see with his pineal gland anything the Spirit wishes him to see—he is called a Seer, and he’s also LDS—I’ve never met him before and I can’t remember his name, which was a code name anyway so it really doesn’t matter.

            We had an incredible conversation over the phone. He explained to me the levels of exaltation.

            It is important to note that levels of exaltation refers to something different than what is typically thought of as reincarnation. It is, instead, referring to multiple mortal probations.

            I forget what the levels one through baby level four are. And for that, I apologize.

            Level four, Junior, are the John Pontius’s of the world—the communicators. Then level four, Senior, are the prophets and prophetesses down through the ages.

            Baby Level Five, are the Saviors.

            Level Five, Junior, are the Jehovahs—and I don’t understand the difference between these and the Saviors, although he tried to explain it to me when we talked on the phone.

            And Level Five, Senior, are the Elohims.

            Then, he used his spiritual gift to look at my spirit body, and he told me which level I was at that time. He sounded really surprised that I was a ‘level up’ from where he was. Then, he started to check the dark side’s programming of my body, and he exclaimed: “Sh*t! Sh*t! They’ve inserted devices into you…” I tried not to be surprised at his swearing—in fact, it comforted me in a strange way.

            Then he said, “I’m seeing you…Oh God…” I was surprised at his taking the Lord’s name in vain. Or maybe it was a prayer. “What? What is it?” I said.

            “I can’t tell you—you’ll be triggered.”

            “What are you seeing???”

            “I…you’re leg is up and…Oh sh*t. SH*T.”

            “What!?! I don’t remember anything like that. Just tell me.” I begged.

            But no matter how I tried to get him to tell me what he was seeing, he wouldn’t. Or couldn’t.

I type this on October 7th, 2022 in a long-term care facility I’m trying my best to not feel banished to, with about 80 aged roommates—including one who I think I’m here for. His name is Sam. I’m also…I dunno what the word for it is, is it celebrating? Or is it commiserating? My two year anniversary of jumping from Webb Hill in St. George, Utah, and leaving my broken body behind and going to heaven.

            I’ve never written about what happened after Jesus greeted me with my beloved labradoodle, Teddy Bear, and my golden retriever, Annie, in tow beneath that beautiful willow tree. Maybe now is the right time.

A Boost

“I’ll just give you a boost,” Jesus said, His eyes flashing with mirth, glee, joy—and a hundred other emotions I cannot name.

And, you know what He did? He pinched my butt as He was helping me onto Modoc the Elephant.

            “JESUS!” I laughed. “What the HELL?!”

            “You mean, Heaven, right?!”

“I thought I’m not supposed to swear by the Earth or the Heavens or anything like that!” I cried, situating myself on the elaborate seat on top of my favorite elephant, Modoc, who I had read about in a book on Earth.

“For you, I’ll make an exception, just this once,” he joked, through a smile that showed perfect almost pearlescent white teeth, seen through a perfectly trimmed beard. Not a hair was out of place, despite all of the hugging we had been doing just moments earlier.

            I couldn’t stop staring at his blue, blue eyes. He was magnificent.

            Glorious.

            Amazing Grace.

            Love.

            All of the good feelings were gushing out of my heart center and I could see his glorious energy as well. It lit up the whole sky, and the rose bushes and the White City in the distance.

            “Are…you okay?” He said coyly.

            “You know.” I said, seriously.          

“Yeah, I do…” He replied, His voice and eyes were frank and full of comfort and truth. In those three words, He also communicated to me volumes about how my parents were doing back on earth, and that everything was going to be okay.

            He waited until I broke eye contact, then He turned and whistled just like Gandalf the White did in Lord of the Rings, and a beautiful white stallion came running up to us. Then Jesus mounted his steed like He did this everyday, and the horse trotted gaily in front of Modoc and I.

And then my two dogs Teddy Bear and Annie took the lead.

During all of this I had been having a conversation on the side with Modoc, Teddy Bear and Annie. But I can’t remember what it was other than just logistics and what was going on. They were all very happy to see me and were up to date on my life! Teddy Bear mentioned that he was one of my constant Guardian Angels, as well.

            Modoc put his trunk up into the air and trumpeted—then our little procession started.

There was a white city in the distance—about a mile away. I could feel, or sense, the sacred stones that the city was built of actually calling to me.

As we got closer we were greeted by hundreds upon hundreds of dancers, banner carriers, music makers, and people carrying baskets of confetti dressed in elaborate costumes, every color of the rainbow and from every country and time on Earth. They fell into line before Annie and Teddy Bear—their tails waving proudly in the air–followed by Jesus Christ on His magnificent white horse, and then me following in the rear on Modoc the Elephant.

            And then there was the music.

            I cannot describe such music.

It was like James Horner, Hans Zimmerman, Chopin, Enya, Whitney Houston, and the Lyceum Philharmonic had a dose of Felix Felicis and had composed the perfect song of praise together, and that that song of praise was squared to the umpteenth power.

            The very stones themselves were singing as we all walked a golden road paved with them towards the White City.

We entered the white city, passing by golden gates with intricate carvings and runes I was too overwhelmed with emotion to memorize.

            Confetti in the form of fragrant rose petals was being spread from balconies above with cherubic faces laughing as little hands threw it into the air.

There was a moving mass of white robes and faces shining with beauty and light on either side of the street.

I cannot describe the millions of people lining the street, or the shining buildings made of diamonds and other precious stones, every inch a masterpiece. I cannot describe how fields of light started pulsing from my heart center—getting wider and wider until great flashes of light lit up all the faces around me, and lit up the sky in levels that would blind people back on earth.

        I cannot describe how it felt to reach the most magnificent building I’ve seen, The Library Temple, and how it felt to see Jesus Christ reach His pierced hands up to meet mine as I dismounted into His arms, laughing and weeping with joy as I collapsed into His warm embrace.

The Stone Which Was Set At Nought

By Nicole Marie Hilton in her hospital room October 1, 2022

            I randomly just turned to Acts chapter 4, verse 11: “This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.”

            Isn’t that such beautiful imagery?

            It’s like saying that James and the Giant Peach was made out of a seemingly rotten peach.

            Not only that—but the peach can fly.

            I remember bearing my testimony once that Thomas S. Monson visited me in a sacred dream or vision, in sacrament meeting, and afterwards I heard a girl exclaim loudly, “Why on EARTH would Thomas S. Monson visit HER?!?”

            I really have been, at the very least, set “at naught” or even downright ridiculed and even punished for being me.

            So, if you have ever felt like an outcast—know that I have felt that way, too. And that the best of us—Jesus Christ—was also set at naught. But He is now the chief cornerstone.

            And if that doesn’t give you hope, I don’t know what will.

The Sign of the Dove

By Nicole Hilton, April 23rd, 2018 to present

            Today my heart is full. I started getting my spiritual gifts back today—mainly the gift of being able to ask any question (as inspired of the Lord) and having it be answered in the most miraculous ways. Sometimes it was the whispering of the spirit, sometimes the answer came in the form of a song over the intercom at my sorting work at Deseret Industries (“A Thousand Years” was Heavenly Mother’s gift to me), and sometimes it was what someone said or an object lesson. I laughed, I cried, I prayed in gratitude to Heavenly Father for all the knowledge he gave again and again over the hours. All he required was all I had, and then He gave everything and more back to me.

            Last night, I prayed for the chance to minister to someone who has anxiety face to face. During a break, I overheard a man talking about his daughter, who is in high school, having to stay home today because of anxiety. He was at his wits end about what to do and it sounded like the situation was serious.

            I immediately got up and went to him. “Hi, I’m Nicole. I’m actually trained in how to deal with anxiety. Can I come over to your place and talk with your daughter?” He said yes—I could come over right after work!

            Then, I saw a beautiful shirt displayed proudly up front at Deseret Industries that had just come through. I thought, Wow, I want that shirt!

            After my shift, I had to decide: do I go straight to this man’s house and talk with his daughter, or go try to find the shirt first? I decided to go to the man’s house. Thus began an hour-long discussion with this beautiful young girl, her parents, and her amazing younger sister about opposition in all things and how we need to recognize Satan’s lies and replace them, through the power of Jesus Christ, with the truth. I was led of the Spirit to testify to her how amazing she and her sister are, and I was led to know exactly what to say. I had goosebumps again and again as we spoke and I felt the Spirit direct my words. I told her to take my number and call me anytime, day or night, and that I would help her face her dragons and overcome them through Jesus Christ.

            When I left, I was almost overcome with an overwhelming sense of purpose, which had been growing since the moment I tried to bravely walk up to that house and rang the doorbell. I knew, without a doubt, that I had found my calling.

            Later, I found out from the man that the girl went back to school completely anxiety-free for the rest of high school.

            Afterwards, on the way to see my mom at work, I felt I should stop by the DI and find that shirt. So, I did. It wasn’t there where it had been displayed—of course it wasn’t! It was a superb shirt. Those types of shirts are snatched up really quick. Well, when I was leaving the DI, feeling a bit sad, I saw the shirt. It looked like it had been taken down and hidden away, just for me.

            I grabbed it in surprise and went and tried it on. It fit perfectly! I smiled and thanked Heavenly Father, and went and bought it.

            I saw Lynn at his home and was greatly edified by his words. I almost can’t believe God would love me enough to give me a friend with such a great a heart as his. I asked Lynn how I could overcome my feelings of pride after I confessed to him that Satan was trying to tempt me to believe I was better than everyone else. He said to put off the natural man and be centered in Christ, and many more things—which were all true and edifying.

            But, later at home I was outside in the backyard for my meditation. I was gazing upwards from the grass at the sky, the trees, and the moon. I looked over at a bumblebee buzzing around and thought, “what is the lesson I need to learn from this bumblebee?” the Spirit immediately answered, “your lesson is that each worker bee is needed, and that you are a worker bee like everyone else. No bee’s worth is greater than another. If you listen to Satan’s lies, you are saying that you have greater worth than someone else. This is not true.”

            I thanked God for the answer. It was so personal because I needed the image of the bee, or two bees side by side, to help me overcome my weakness. And God knew that.

            Then, the constant stream of whisperings and teachings from the Holy Ghost I had been experiencing since Friday (for four days) went suddenly still. I waited for more questions to be given of the spirit, so I could get more answers. There was nothing. This went on for what seemed like forever. Everything was quiet. I decided to enjoy the stillness, taking it as a sign that God needed me to process things, but then got worried. Did the Holy Ghost leave me?

            I asked, “do I still have the Holy Ghost with me?”

            Nothing.

            Then, a dove flew down and lit upon the swing set right above me, turned it’s head and stared right at me with it’s little black eye.

            I was speechless.

            The dove looked at me. It was so close that I knew under regular circumstances it would never have gotten this close to a human being. I knew, overwhelmed by the Spirit, that the dove was my sign from the Holy Ghost that He was still with me.

            Then the dove flew away, and I just cried.

            And then we—Mom, Dad, and I—did family history work! It was an amazing day. I think every day can be like this when I’m spiritually focused. If so…I’m not sure if the spirit wants me to write it down all the time. Wouldn’t that be too time consuming? Wouldn’t it detract from where my focus is meant to be?

Update:

            Later one night, I was downstairs when mom called me.

            “I want to show you something!”

            She was quiet as I walked up the stairs, and then she led me to the front door and opened it. I felt a feeling of almost sacredness come over me.

            She pointed, saying “Look!”

            I looked. At first, I couldn’t see what the big deal was—there was just the arbor there over our front door archway. But then I saw it—a nest.

            Turns out, the same dove—I swear!—built a nest within a foot of where our heads pass in and out of the doorway each day.

            I stared in unbelief at her eye. She seemed curious and wise.

            For the next few weeks, she was always there. I named her Peace. I would talk to her. She was comforting to me—a sign that the Holy Ghost was still with me, and still wanted me to be in this house.

            Later, two scruffy looking baby doves were born, and they learned how to fly. They visited their nest, coming back for a few days, and then they all left.

2022:

            Three years later, D—– would move in with her two girls, who were also learning how to fly in this home.

            Later, after D and her girls moved out, I was at A’s house. His mom showed me something extremely curious—that if you break open a sand dollar, five little baby doves will fall out.

            Try it.

Unconditional Love and Hand Symbolism

By Nicole Hilton, June 5th, 2018

            Today I woke up feeling empty and depressed. It’s a feeling extremely familiar to me, which always sets in after a wonderful spiritual experience. (Such as I had yesterday with President Monson visiting me.) I should have expected it…but I keep on hoping that one day I’m going to be happier than the day before and I’ll keep on being happier and happier.

            Well, that day wasn’t today.

            I fought hard to do right and be of use—walking the dogs, eating semi-healthy…and I hated this empty feeling. I felt like a black hole. Like someone who is so insatiable for experiences like the kind I had with President Monson that nothing except being in Christ’s presence all of the time would be good enough. Yes, the emptiness was familiar to me…but I longed for the feeling of being loved and cherished I had felt yesterday. Why did it have to go away? Was that just my lot in life?

            Unexpectedly, I broke down crying when Shawn sent me a video wherein he assured me how much he unconditionally loves me. I finally tapped into the well of emotion I know is boiling underneath my calm demeanor, and I had the question answered I have been asking God for a long long time. The question is: what is the root of all this sadness in my life? The answer: I don’t feel loved.

            “There’s things I want to say, because I think you need to hear them. I love you. I’ve said that before, and you’ve heard that before…but I just want to make sure so you can save this and refer to it in case you forget. You say that you forget a lot and you keep having these experiences to remind you of who you are, and that you’re loved.

            “I think that your whole life you’ve struggled with feeling loved. And your mom worked a lot—which is great—but maybe you didn’t get the attention you needed and you didn’t feel that love from her. And you can feel and acknowledge that now…but that doesn’t replace missing out on something when you’re younger.” He went on to mention my brothers and the struggles I had with them, and also how my Dad couldn’t relate or understand.

            “So it’s all a struggle to feel loved. It’s like what James B. Cox said about the prisoners…that the words sounded so nice, but they couldn’t feel it. They didn’t feel that they can be loved. And I wonder if that’s what happened to you…and dating since you were younger all these guys…I wonder if that was seeking—even on a subconscious level—love. You just wanted to be loved.

            “I remember after Christmas you came back and said, ‘Wow, you really love me unconditionally.’ Um…well, yeah. It was kind of confusing to me. Like you are used to having all these conditions placed upon the love you receive.

            “I think about how we got together and how miraculous that was. It was meant to be…and I think it’s because you needed to feel what it’s like to be loved unconditionally. And I think that’s why you have such a special relationship with Jesus Christ, because He’s the one who provides that for you and you need that more than most…because you feel you have been starved for love your whole life.

            “You know…you’re taught from society to look a certain way so you can get the attention and be beautiful, and all this and that. I can tell you a thousand times over you look beautiful and amazing and stunning…and I can cite specific examples when you said this was the best outfit or that was the best outfit…but I’m like, ‘No no no no…I saw you in that herringbone skirt that one time you went to the temple—that was the best…I can name that! Or the time at the BYU 147th, and you kind of leaned over, and I looked at you and saw your profile and it was just absolute perfection. Like, I can still see these in my mind and I can tell you these things…but I can also tell you that’s not why I love you.

            “I love you for you. There’s been arguments and fights and tough times, but I still love you. Maybe in that moment it’s been difficult, but that’s because I’m not perfect, and you’re not perfect, and that’s what we’re here to learn—to grow and be better. But it doesn’t mean I don’t love you or didn’t love you. I absolutely do love you. And what I think is really amazing is that I don’t have to. I never had to love you. Nobody ever told me—‘Hey, you need to love her’. An angel didn’t tell me I had to love you—that didn’t happen. It was all my choice. I chose to love you, and I still choose to love you. And I think I chose to love you ages ago, before we can even remember. I think we met and got together, fell in love, whatever you want to call it—because you needed to have the experience of someone loving you unconditionally by choice. Not because they’re supposed to because you’re family, or they are trying to win you over, or for whatever conditional reason.

            “This testifies to you that you are loved. You are loved for who you are, no matter what. And it’s from a very real, tangible, realistic, within-reach person. That’s great you had that dream—that’s fantastic. I love that you were able to have that experience. I just have been thinking this for a couple of days though, that I had to tell you that I love you. And I had to tell you so that you can know, so that you can feel that love—even if you’re struggling and having a hard time, and you don’t know what to do, you can feel loved. We’ve been through some tough times, and I’m still saying it. You know…I’ve been hurt, I’ve hurt you…and I’m still saying it. Still feeling it and believing it. I just want to make sure that you know that you are loved. And I can say that because even if the ends of the earth deny you that, I don’t.

            “I. Love. You. I hope that you can feel that. If you ever forget, mark this and find it, and listen to it. And know that it’s true…then feel it. So you don’t feel the need to search for it or long for it…because it’s right here.” He then patted his chest.

            I was curled up into a ball on my bed, just sobbing and sobbing. He had completely hit the target and answered the question to all my depression for my entire life. I am sad because I feel, acutely, the absence of unconditional love in my life.

            Throughout the rest of the day I reflected on how close I must have been to Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, and Jesus Christ—and all those perfected beings who unconditionally loved me so often and so well. I must have been extremely close to all of them, because I feel their absence so acutely in this life. I feel it more than most everyone I know.

            I reflected back on how Joseph Smith was sent to me and loved me unconditionally, how Enoch had that look of absolute perfect love in his eyes, how Jesus Christ loved me in my padded cell and in my dream and all the other times I can’t remember, and now how President Monson just held me and unconditionally loved me. I reflected that I felt completely natural, at ease, and at home in the presence of these great men. How my experiences with them were all my greater reality…that right now, it is as if I’m in the dream.

I went to my therapy appointment with Leann and, now that the floodgates were open, I cried through the whole hour. She said so many kind things to me, and talked about how pure I must be to have all these experiences. She said that out of all those she has counseled, no one has had the mental illnesses and difficulties I have had. That really surprised me. She also said that no one has had the highs I’ve experienced, either—and that those two things must go together. She quoted a scripture from the New Testament which said that all my trials shall be worth more than gold.

I then went to the temple. I was taught something very unexpected. As I was gazing down at my right hand, reflecting on what I know about the fingers and thumb of my hand and what they mean, I was told by the spirit to examine my thumb. The thumb is opposable…it represents the opposition or Satan’s forces. I looked at the scar on my thumb and I remembered that when I broke my back the first time, it was just my thumb that stopped working.

            They had surgically opened up my thumb and discovered that the tendon was attached and everything was in working order—yet I still couldn’t bend it for four weeks.

            And for those four weeks, Satan had absolutely no hold on me. I was free from opposition.

            I almost gasped in my seat. Here was another literal symbol in my life that God was showing me—almost ten years after it happened. Satan had been arrested when I broke my back…and my thumb had stopped working to represent that.

            I kept on staring at my hand. The Spirit nudged me to ask about my broken finger. I broke the right hand ring finger during gymnastics the night before a big piano recital when I was younger. I then saw that the finger I broke was the one that represented the Telestial world. The spirit told me that yes, in this Telestial world, I am going to be broken and bent. But…I must hold on. For the terrestrial world is coming.

            And I can’t wait for the day we can all read each other and give and receive unconditional love for each other. I can’t wait to be surrounded by loved ones and light constantly.

I hope it can happen here on this plane…I’ve tasted it for a few days or weeks at a time. I want to taste of it again.