Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Wilderness

In the last two weeks I have started to read The Book of Mormon again.  I am not sure how many times I have read it and each time I do I feel the Spirit confirm to my heart that this book is good; this book is true; this book is "another testament of Jesus Christ".

 As Joseph Smith said so many years ago that The Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any Book on earth & the keystone of our religion & a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other Book.”  (Wilford Woodruff journal, Nov. 28, 1841, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.)

Lehi's family, his wife and four sons, leave Jerusalem after persecution became so great that the Lord warned them to leave. I am very impressed with Nephi's faith and diligence to follow the Lord's commands; and that even becomes his theme in life:  "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded".  (1 Nephi 3:7)  He repeats this many times as he follows the command to leave home to spend years in the wilderness; again, when the Lord commands them to go back to retrieve the brass plate (which is a record of the prophets and a genealogy of the people).

Nephi doesn't follow his father blindly just believing that his father must be communing with the Lord.  He must have had his own struggle to understand why they needed to do these things, and so he took faith and prayed.  He showed us that he knew the Lord would answer him, and Nephi's prayer was answered.  The Lord gave him the knowledge he needed to go forward and accomplish the work he had to do.

Nephi's oldest brothers, on the other hand, hardened their hearts and murmured saying it was all too much and they didn't believe their father had been commanded to take his family in the wilderness.  Sadly, they didn't try very hard to gain the knowledge for themselves, and so their actions were all done with doubt and a great lack of faith.

Elder Jeffery R. Holland gave this encouragement about not murmuring, "Yes, life has its problems, and yes, there are negative things to face, but please accept one of Elder Holland’s maxims for living—no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse."  (Tongue of Angels, April 2007 General Conference)

So here we have one family taking their journey in the wilderness to fulfill the will of the Lord and I ask myself, "How does this relate to me?"  My life feels similar, although I don't have the extremes or living out of a tent or having family members so angry they want to hurt me, yet I find myself living in what may be considered my wilderness

I feel like I grew up in the beautiful city of Jerusalem (Salt Lake City area), where we had the riches of family and all that we needed; and then the call came.  Our life changes and we felt the promptings take us across the country for school, and then when school finished I was a little heart broken that again we felt the promptings taking us even farther from home.

So here I live in my wilderness.  I am afraid I have taken my turn murmuring that our world back in Jerusalem was perfect for us, we should go back.  Also, as I try to be more like Nephi and pray for that confirmation of why I am on this journey in the wilderness, I feel the confirmation of the Spirit telling me that I am where the Lord wants me to be.

After receiving that confirmation and continuing to refresh that confirmation in my heart as I try to stay close to the Lord, my heart fills with peace and I can stand tall and answer, "I will go and do the things which the Lord commands, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments until [me], save he shall prepare a way for [me] that [I] may accompish the thing which he commandeth [me]."

I know this is true as I have felt the power of the Lord in my life making me stronger so that I can do all that is required of me.

What is more, Christ invites all of us to "come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  (Matt 11:28-30)

No comments: