Dream Log 2015.09.18.0900
by Ilyan Kei Lavanway
Copyright 2015 Ilyan Kei Lavanway
Published by Ilyan Kei Lavanway at
[+ Oakland California+] of
Photo courtesy of:
This written work is a true account of a personal experience. It may be freely shared, printed, copied, and distributed for the enjoyment and edification of everyone.
Dedicated to Dale LaVanway (1932-2012)
At or around 0900 hours, Friday, 18 September 2015, I awoke from an experience that had to be more than a dream. But, I will call it a dream for lack of a better word.
During the dream, I was in some type of office. It was a large, well lit room. It must have been a Church administrative office of some type. A sacrament hymn was playing over and over again. It was an instrumental rendition. No vocals. I think it was [+ LDS Hymn 194: There is a Green Hill Far Away+], but I ‘m not sure. My memory of it is fading now that I’m awake.
I was sitting at a large table with two other men. The table was situated at the center of the room. Office cubicles were arranged concentrically around and facing away from the table. There were several rings of such cubicles, including those arranged along the walls. The room was large enough that I could not actually see the walls. There was plenty of room to walk around the table at which I was seated.
I might loosely describe the layout of the entire room as a being representative of the arrangement of a typical spiral galaxy, but this room was square or rectangular. Anyway, such a notion may be a product of my subconscious mind, as I have been working diligently for the past month making a written record of a flood of thoughts that have been coming to me regarding God’s creations and the cosmos. In fact, it is this Dream Log entry that caused me to break from working on my Thought Log. This dream experience seems far more urgent, at present.
Within the large room, a few people in the background were going about their tasks quietly and reverently. They were dressed in white. They were some distance away. My attention was not drawn to them in particular.
I was on one side of the table, and the two men were seated a few feet apart on the opposite side. The one across from me and to my left was Filipino. He was large for a Filipino. He had well groomed, thick, black hair. His hair was combed with a wave style in front. He looked strong, and had a solid, sturdy build. He wore a blue T-shirt and denim jeans.
The fellow across from me and to my right was Caucasian, somewhat portly, with a well trimmed, graying beard and short blond hair. He was wearing a plaid button-down shirt patterned with light blue and gray and white. It seemed we were about the same age. I am forty-eight years old at the time of this writing. The Filipino fellow looked a bit younger.
I don’t remember what we were doing or why we were there, but within the context of the dream it was a place with which we were familiar, a place we had frequented for some time.
This particular day was a weekday, not a Sunday. Given the fact that we were dressed in plain street clothes, I don’t think the place is a temple, unless it is a foyer area or a waiting area situated just inside the main entrance of a temple, before passing through the recommend desk as is required for further entry. I suppose in that sense it could be a temple. If not, it must be some type of family history center or maybe an office at Church headquarters. I have never seen this office in my waking life.
I didn’t recognize the men across the table from me. I don’t yet know who they are. The Filipino fellow seemed more familiar to me than the Caucasian fellow.
It seemed like the Filipino fellow and I were somewhat new to the place. It felt like the Caucasian fellow had been working there for a longer time. We were each working on separate tasks, or we were there for separate purposes. I say we were there for separate reasons only because I was not aware of any coordinated plans for us to meet.
I remember commenting to the Filipino fellow about the music. I asked rhetorically, why even the most beautiful hymns, when played repetitively, can start to seem – I struggled for the right words, and recognizing he was Filipino, I figured he would understand the Hiligaynon expression that perfectly describes what I was trying to say – sum od.
That is, why does a song or a hymn, or any music for that matter, start to seem mundane or worn out, even to the point of becoming unpleasant or irritating, when played too frequently? The Filipino fellow started to answer, and we were discussing it a bit. I don’t remember what we were saying.
I do remember saying something to the effect of: I wonder if that happens in the Celestial kingdom. Does the music there ever get played to the point of being worn out or tiresome?
The Caucasian fellow, who had been quietly overhearing our conversation, spoke up in response to this question. As he began talking, the Filipino fellow got up and left the table, not in the sense of being rude, but more like he simply had to get a drink of water or run an errand. Anyway, our conversation had been casual and his departure was natural and reverent, not drawing attention to himself.
The Caucasian fellow said something to the effect of: In the Celestial kingdom the music never gets old because there are infinitely many renditions by so many different artists, and the artists apply many beautiful and creative nuances to the music.
His answer was a bit more detailed than this, but this is all I can remember after waking. I do remember that in the dream I was impressed and touched by his answer. He gave an explanation so beautiful and precise that I felt he was speaking from personal knowledge, as if he had actually been to the Celestial kingdom. He spoke as if from experience, not from intellect alone.
I suggested he write down what he had just explained and share it or post it on a blog. At first he just looked at me silently, as if surprised that his remarks would be esteemed or important enough to be shared publicly. Or perhaps he was wondering how, exactly, he would share it or post it anywhere. After a few seconds, he got up and fetched a pad of beautiful stationary, as if he had kept it prepared.
I discerned that the Holy Ghost had prompted him to act. He was not getting up to get his stationary to write because I had suggested it. He was doing it because the Holy Ghost told him to do it.
I got up and walked over to him and asked, “What’s your name, Brother?”
He said, “Leila.”
He pronounced it, Lie-la.
I tried not show surprise at the fact that he had a girl’s name, and not the kind of girl’s name that commonly gets used by guys, like Kim or Kelly or Terry or Tony.
I shook his hand and said, “Nice to meet you, Leila. I’m Ilyan.”
Bringing his pad of artistic stationary back to the table, he thumbed though a few blank sheets as if trying to decide on the best color. I suggested he use a white or light color so the writing could be clearly seen and scanned. He chose a light blue theme.
He began writing: Sis. LAVANWAY …
I don’t think I had told him my last name, so it puzzled me that he would know it. I observed that he was of humble education. His penmanship was somewhat juvenile, and he seemed uncommonly innocent, despite his age.
I kindly suggested he revise his opening sentence. He tried to express something about it being a style of great respect and honor. I felt his sincerity, and kindly pointed out that instead of saying Sis. Lavanway, it should say Bro. Lavanway, assuming he was addressing his writing to me.
I discerned that he had also thought my first name, Ilyan, sounds like a girl’s name. So, I imagined he had instinctively addressed his writing as if I were a Sister rather than a Brother. Again, I assumed his opening sentence was addressing or acknowledging me.
At this point, the dream shifted somewhat. I didn’t see what he wrote beyond a few words after the capitalized name LAVANWAY. I noticed a single short word or number, perhaps a date or time centered above his writing, but I don’t remember what that word or number was, nor do I recall any of the other words he wrote.
I remember kneeling beside him and resting my head on his arm. He embraced my head in a brotherly gesture. I held his forearm in brotherly reciprocation of the gesture and closed my eyes. We stayed like that for some extended length of time, as if we did not want to part each other’s company.
I don’t know what this meant, but I felt that this brother must know me. Perhaps we are related, but I can’t recall ever meeting him.
I felt a deep sense of spiritual comfort. Though my eyes were closed, I could see light. At first, it seemed like light gray fog. Gradually, the light gray became brighter and brighter until it was all white. I felt so peaceful and unburdened I wanted to stay in that place. But, then I awoke.
I was so tired, I was tempted to go back to sleep, but I felt I should make a written record of this experience. I remembered how Brother Leila had acted immediately on the prompting from the Holy Ghost, so I felt I should do no less.
Now, I wonder at his name. My middle name is Kei, pronounced Kai (rhymes with Sky). My last name has historically been written as two separate words, La Vanway, and is of French origin, derived from Livernois.
I wonder if Brother Leila’s name is an abbreviation of some ancestor’s name. He pronounced his name, Lie-la, which is phonetically the same as Lyle La, which could mean Lyle La Vanway.
I don’t know of any Lyle La Vanway or Lyle Lavanway, but I am going to search for that name and see if temple work needs to be done for any individual with that name.
It is now about 1200 hours, Friday, 18 September 2015.
After searching the website familysearch.org to no avail, I did two simple Google searches – one for Lyle Lavanway and another for Lyle La Vanway. Both searches yielded the same results. The following is what came up at the top of the search list:
“Obituary For: Dale LaVanway | Mortensen Funeral Homes
Sep 25, 2012 – Dale LaVanway, 80 was born April 7th, 1932 to Elgin and Mae (Kenney) in … He is survived by one sister Shirley (Lyle) Etcher, 4 brothers Virgil …”
I visited the website:
Dale LaVanway’s obituary photo shows a Caucasian man wearing a plaid shirt patterned in light blue and gray and white. And the decorative artwork around the top of his obituary page is uncannily similar to the artwork around the top of the pad of stationary upon which he wrote in my dream.
When I first saw the search entry listed above, the detail that immediately caught my attention was the mention of his sister Shirley who is married to a man named Lyle.
So, there is a girl whose maiden name is LaVanway married to a man named whose first name is Lyle. The girl has a deceased brother named Dale LaVanway, who appears to be the same man I was talking with in my dream this morning. Dale died 25 September 2012. His sister Shirley is still living, as of the date of Dale’s obituary.
It is now about 1900 hours, Friday, 18 September 2015.
I have been pondering this morning’s experience all day, and writing whatever further developments I can come to understand as I go through the day, between doing laundry and helping my wife tend our son, who has Down’s syndrome. By the way, our son Immanuel loves music, so I have been playing music for him throughout the day on our computer. Not hymns, but other good music he enjoys. And some of it becomes sum od, because he wants me to play it over and over again.
There must be a reason why Dale introduced himself to me in such a way that would lead me not only to discover his own biographical information, but also cause me to search for his sister Shirley and her husband Lyle.
Only now, at the end of the day, do I realize Dale’s opening sentence on his pad of stationary was not addressed to me. In fact, at this point, I don’t think he was writing anything related to our conversation about music.
I think Dale was writing a letter to his sister Shirley. I think he was hoping I would catch his clues and be humble enough to stop assuming he was addressing me, and realize he was trying to lead me to find his sister and her husband.
Prior to the events of this day, I have never heard of any of these relatives. I don’t yet have any idea where our family lines connect. I do know there are many LaVanways whom I have never met living in the state of Michigan, in the United States. Their family name, LaVanway, being spelled as it is, indicates we are definitely related.
I have been living in the Philippines for the past year and a half. My wife is Filipina. She has an older brother named Peter who died shortly after birth.
My wife’s Papa, Antonio Mercurio Patriarca, died when my wife was seven years old. He died of Leukemia when he was thirty-three years old. I never met him while he was living. The only picture I have of him is his black and white ID card from Victorias Milling Company (VMC). It shows him having thick, black hair and wearing a dark T-shirt.
When I described to my wife the exact hairstyle he was sporting this morning, she confirmed it had to be him.
I now understand it to be my wife’s Papa who helped introduce me to Dale, or helped introduce Dale to me. I suppose one purpose for this meeting was so I could ensure Dale’s temple work gets done. I also learned that Dale cares deeply about his sister Shirley and her husband Lyle.
While Dale may be waiting to have his own saving ordinances done vicariously, he was more concerned about getting me to find his sister Shirley and her husband Lyle. For some reason, they are the ones he wants me to find. His obituary lists Shirley as his only sister, but lists four living brothers (Virgil, Richard, Robert, and Randy) and two deceased brothers (Donald and Dennis).
I searched more on the internet and I have a possible phone number for a Lyle Richard Etcher, in Wyoming, Michigan. The internet search listed a Shirley Mae as one of his family members. I tried calling, but got a business. The gentleman who answered the phone did not seem to know Lyle or Shirley. He said I had called the wrong number.
I will have to ask members of my family in America, via email, to help me contact Lyle or Shirley, since I am in the Philippines, and international phone calls can become extremely expensive. Also, when the caller identification feature used on most American phones shows an unfamiliar number calling from a foreign country, most people will be skeptical and less likely to cooperate, if they even bother to pick up the phone. That is perfectly understandable.
My wife and son and I attend the Victorias First Ward in the Cadiz Philippines Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our bishop has asked ward members to submit the name of at least one deceased relative every month for family history and vicarious ordinances in the temple.
Earlier this month, I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me find the name of one of my deceased relatives who would be ready to receive temple ordinances. I didn’t know where to look to find more names than the few I have already found.
This month, Heavenly Father answered my prayer through my wife’s Papa. I am grateful to have met my wife’s Papa, and I am thankful to have met Dale LaVanway. I look forward to meeting Lyle and Shirley.
I find it interesting that Dale’s obituary describes him as a “gentleman farmer.” This description is consistent with what I felt of his character when I met him this morning in the spirit world. It is also significant to me because my wife has started a sugarcane farm. She is quickly becoming an expert at managing the affairs of the farm, and she is learning a lot about agricultural methods.
My wife has made inspired executive decisions that have literally saved the farm and kept it operating in spite of our limited budget.
I have no doubt that her brother, Peter is one of her guardian angels, and that her parents are watching over her as she follows in her Mama’s footsteps. Her Mama, Sonia Abadiano Javellana, had started sugarcane farming as well, but died in a traffic accident, 1 May 2008.
From this morning’s experience, and from other unrelated personal experiences, I no longer have faith that the spirit world is a real place and that vicarious ordinances performed in the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are as literal and eternal as ordinances done for the living. I have a sure knowledge of the reality of these things (see , ).
I have a sure knowledge that the hearts of the Fathers do turn to their children, and the hearts of the children do turn to their fathers, as mentioned in and in [+ Doctrine and Covenants 2:1-3+].
I have a sure knowledge that the work of salvation is being hastened in the spirit world with at least as great, if not greater urgency than among the living.
If you have not already done so, please be baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Obtain and maintain a current temple recommend, participate in family history work, and visit the temple as frequently as possible. There is no other path to a fulness of joy and a continuation of family ties. I so testify with every fiber of my being, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Thought Log 2015.08.17.1900 (Forthcoming)
An Aviator At Heart (2014)
Earth Sink (2010)
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Aside from actually dying, do you have to have a near death experience (NDE) to visit the spirit world? Perhaps the better question is, if you have visited the spirit world, can you say you have had a near death experience. Or is there such thing as a micro death event while sleeping? I have never had a near death experience, as far as I know. But, something happened to me while asleep one morning. This short written work recounts a recent personal experience. Some might pass it off as merely a dream. I am convinced it was more than just a dream. This experience caused me to find information on a deceased relative whom I had never known or heard of in all my life. Furthermore, the experience showed me that I am supposed to locate and contact two living relatives whom I have never known or heard of. I publish this account to bear witness of the reality of the afterlife and the urgency of family history and vicarious work, and to illustrate the seamless integration between the work of salvation among the living and the dead, and the hastening of the work as a whole. Families can be together forever, and there is only one way for that to happen.