Monday, May 14, 2012

The Wind Blows in the Direction of the Promised Land...

The last few years seem to have been full of troubles for our little family. I don't want to make a list here, but we have been whelmed... not overwhelmed, but whelmed. Over the weekend, I have felt some fear and doubt and I have been a real grouch to be honest. I hate that little "picked on" voice that gets into my head and says things like, "How can this happen? We pay our tithing. We live in a modest home. We save. We try to do everything the prophet asks us to do. We blah, blah, blah...." What an irritating whiner! I hate whining.. This helps me not at all.
When people ask me my favorite scripture story, I never hesitate. I always say that I love the story of the Jaredites in the Book of Ether. I love the Brother of Jared. He has fears too. His country is in upheaval and he must take his friends and family and lead them to some unknown place. And so he asks the Lord what he should do and where he should go and the Lord tells him to gather up everyone and his flocks and other things,
"And when thou has done this thou shalt go at the head of them down into the valley which is northward, And there will I meet thee, and I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the lands of the earth."
Then, the Lord tells the brother of Jared to build great barges, that he will be leading his friends and family on a great voyage. But, the barges have no provision for light. He goes to the Lord and asks him how he is going to see in the dark in the barges that will set forth upon an uncharted sea. And, the Lord asks the brother of Jared, "Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?" Interesting. So the brother of Jared makes some 16 small stones or some crystal or something, "and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass..." And, then he asks the Lord to touch the stones. His faith is so great that he sees the finger of the Lord as he reaches out to touch the stones. And then the brother of Jared is transfigured and redeemed and brought into the presence of the Lord. It is such an amazing and beautiful story.
But even though the brother of Jared has had this perfect faith, he still has to lead his people on the scary voyage into the depths of the sea.
"And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.
And in came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.
And it came to pass that the wind never did cease to blow towards the promised land...
I crave security. I love saving accounts, life insurance, food storage, stable jobs and good health. There are lots of things that we can and should do to preserve all those things. But they are things and things can be flimsy and temperamental and they can be lost. Our faith can be lost too. Sadly, I have seen people suffer all of these losses without the hope of faith.
I am grateful for faith. I love the Lord. I know the He is here for us. I know He will meet us and that with His breath He will blow us toward the Promised Land. We just need a moment to gather our family and our courage so that we can meet Him down in the valley.