Thursday, November 19, 2015

Spiritual Whirlwinds

For the past two weeks I have been thinking of a talk I listened to during General Conference that gave the visual of a tree being whipped about by winds.  The fibers of the tree grew stronger through the winds and so it was not able to be pulled down.  Whereas a tree that has lived with no opposition to cause it to grow deeper and stronger may grow large and beautiful, but when a larger than normal storm comes, it will fall to the ground because it has not built up the strength to endure.

I searched to remember more about the message from this talk and found it was Elder Neil L. Anderson from April 2014 General Conference.  He shared a story of a woman that lived in a trailer during a large storm where a tornado had come, picked up her trailer, and placed it on top of her neighbors trailer.
Don't be carried away like in the "Wizard of Oz"

With these two message I learn a few things.  First, that trials and opposition come to everyone, but that is okay because we can know that we are being strengthened.  As we conquer each trial that comes, the Lord is making it so we can be stronger and be able to better face the trials ahead.  During these trials, we need to have ourselves anchored to something so that we will not be tossed about by the winds and placed somewhere where we don't want to be, or even hurt because of the trials.  What can we anchor ourselves to that will build our strength and keep us firm and immovable?

 Christ in a white robe, kneeling near a large olive tree, with hands clasped, looking upward.

During my scripture reading this week I read the teachings of Kind Benjamin in Mosiah 1-3.  In chapter three King Benjamin teaches about the atonement of Jesus Christ.  We learn that King Benjamin is prophesying that the Son of God would come and suffer for the pains and afflictions and sins of the world. 

Through Jesus Christ we can be redeemed from all that would separate us from God.  Through the atonement we can become "submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah 3:19)


This really stood out to me, especially the part that say we would be "willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him".  God is going to test us and try us, and that means that things might be hard.  As we rely on our Savior to be strong and immovable, we will be blessed to overcome these trials.

This is not to say that every trial that comes in our life it something God inflicts on us.  Some trials are the result of living in a fallen world where there is wickedness and corruption; yet again, as we put our faith in Christ he will be our sure foundations that will keep us safe as the winds blow around us.  We may be whipped about on all sides, but we won't be broken because the Lord is our strength.

An image of a tree trunk coupled with a quote by Elder Quentin L. Cook: “We can thrive … if we are rooted in our love of the Savior.”

The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength.
I know in his might I'll conquer at length.
My weakness in mercy he covers with pow'r,
And, walking by faith, I am blest ev'ry hour.
"The Lord is My Light" Hymn 89, vs. 3 

The Master 
 I know that as I keep the Savior at the center of my life, the whirlwinds of life can rage all about me, but I will not be moved.

My young brothers and sisters, how we love you, admire you, and pray for you. Don’t let the whirlwinds drag you down. These are your days—to stand strong as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Build more firmly your foundation upon the rock of your Redeemer.
Treasure more completely His incomparable life and teachings.
Follow more diligently His example and His commandments.
Embrace more deeply His love, His mercy and grace, and the powerful gifts of His Atonement.

you do, I promise you that you will see the whirlwinds for what they are—tests, temptations, distractions, or challenges to help you grow. And as you live righteously year after year, I assure you that your experiences will confirm to you again and again that Jesus is the Christ. The spiritual rock under your feet will be solid and secure. You will rejoice that God has placed you here to be a part of the final preparations for Christ’s glorious return.
-Neil L. Anderson


Rockin' Rowes said...

Wonderful thoughts Maryann!

Rockin' Rowes said...

Wonderful ideas Maryann