I love Mormon chapter 9! Vs 27 was the cause great reflection today.
27 O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.
Don’t despise or wonder
Harken and Ask
Come to the Lord with all your heart
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Love lists in the scriptures!
Today the word “shall” stood out to me. We are not told to ask for things only IF something comes up that we will need... we are told to ask for those things that we “shall stand in need” of. I know, I know, a real duh moment, but for me, it is like the Lord is letting me in on a “brief” for my life. “Bryn, you SHALL/WILL be in need of things, so make sure you ask for what you ARE in need of.” Times in the past, times now, and times to come, we will/shall have things we will/shall stand in need of.
-faith to follow a prompting
-help to forgive
-knowledge to understand His will
-a way to get to the temple when our week is just going nuts
-help to make it through a stressful day/year/week
-help to overcome temptations
-guidance to make the right decisions
-loved ones to be blessed
-getting through a semester of school
-help working with those who use their agency poorly
-help to know what to say to a guy when he calls (ha, I put that in there for all of us singles out there!) ha ha
-balance in our life
-patience with ourselves
-even more patience at times with others
...the list goes on and on and on and on and on!
We are going to stand in need of a lot of things. We will/shall!
We need to harken, and then ask.
I had a friend once ask why we need to ask God for things. After all He is our Father, He is all knowing...He already knows what we need and don’t need. But time and time again in the scriptures we are commanded to “ask”. In asking, we receive and build faith!
I have heard many times, “I don’t have the faith that it takes to pray.”
Aminadab teaches us a powerful lesson on praying. Hel 5:41 (The Book of Mormon).
Nephi and Lehi were cast into prison and had horrible things happen to them. They went “many” days without food (12). The servants of Limhi went to go slay them, but Nephi and Lehi were surrounded by fire. The earth shook, the bad guys trembled, a darkness comes and over shadows those in the prison. They all hear a voice 3 different times telling them to repent.
Those in the prison were pretty scared.
The scriptures tell us that Aminadab was a Nephite by birth and he once belonged to the church of God [he was a member but for whatever reason], but fell away (vs. 35).
During the time when the darkness was engulfing the men in the prison, they asked Aminadab what they could do to have the darkness lifted:
40 And it came to pass that the Lamanites said unto him: What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?
41 And Aminadab said unto them: You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you.
42 And it came to pass that they all did begin to cry unto the voice of him who had shaken the earth; yea, they did cry even until the cloud of darkness was dispersed.
43 And it came to pass that when they cast their eyes about, and saw that the cloud of darkness was dispersed from overshadowing them, behold, they saw that they were encircled about, yea every soul, by a pillar of fire.
44 And Nephi and Lehi were in the midst of them; yea, they were encircled about; yea, they were as if in the midst of a flaming fire, yet it did harm them not, neither did it take hold upon the walls of the prison; and they were filled with that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory.
45 And behold, the Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as if with fire, and they could speak forth marvelous words.
46 And it came to pass that there came a voice unto them, yea, a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper, saying:
47 Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world.
48 And now, when they heard this they cast up their eyes as if to behold from whence the voice came; and behold, they saw the heavens open; and angels came down out of heaven and ministered unto them.
49 And there were about three hundred souls who saw and heard these things; and they were bidden to go forth and marvel not, neither should they doubt.
50 And it came to pass that they did go forth, and did minister unto the people, declaring throughout all the regions round about all the things which they had heard and seen, insomuch that the more part of the Lamanites were convinced of them, because of the greatness of the evidences which they had received.
Okay, so I know I included the whole little blurb here, but it is such a good story! We even get to hear Heavenly Father speaking!
Did you catch in vs 41? Aminadab told the people in the prison they needed to “...repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ...” He didn’t say, “Use your faith TO cry/pray unto the Lord” He said repent, and pray/cry -UNTIL YE SHALL HAVE FAITH IN CHRIST--! When we pray, we gain/receive faith!
What a lesson for me when I have darkness shadowing areas in my life. Whether it is my own darkness brought on as consequences to my actions or the darkness brought about by others’ choices, or just the darkness of the day - no job, no money, no family, no kids, no love, no hope--whatever darkness I am facing... I can repent (for me it is usually about the grumbling/complaining/murmuring I do while in my particular darkness) and CRY unto Heavenly Father, and if I don't already have faith, I will gain faith faith in Christ through my prayers! Faith that eventually the darkness will be lifted.
Oh the wisdom of Aminadab! I always wonder how his story ends, does he make amends and comes back into the Gospel light?! Oh the power of the one!...for another day I will have to explore this Aminadab, a member of the church, obviously not active at the time of this amazing prison experience, but he was able to dig up and hold onto his spiritual/gospel roots again. He had the faith to speak up and tell his prison-mates what they needed to do. Had he remembered the his mother singing a song to help him remember, "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." :D (Fourth Article of Faith). What ever came back to him, someone had taught him something about the gospel and he was able to teach the whole prison how to pray! That had to have taken guts! Ah, for another day.
DO NOT FEAR - LIFE IS GOOD
This is something I have hesitated to share, for it is very sacred to me, but I share it in feeling I should. This happened to me while I was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In sacredness I share this story.
New Jersey-Elizabeth-Morristown Mission
An Excerpt from my family email, with details added from my journals…11/3/05
I was sitting studding at my desk reading in the Book of Mormon about how all the people in the land gathered into one body so they could protect their selves from the Gadianton robbers. As I read and pondered on the story, I became really aware to the idea that there are tons of evil spirits all around us. I then started to wonder how many Satan had on me!? Fear came into my soul. I actually looked around the room I was studding in to see if I could see anything around me.
What happened next, I had a vision if I can call it that… I am not sure what it was?
All of a sudden I was sitting up in the corner of the room and I was looking down at myself studding at my desk. The girl studding/me, was not aware of anything around her/me. As I watched the surrounding, I noticed that there was a thick blackness covering the room. And in that blackness there were scary things… they seemed to be moving in on me. While I was watching this happen I knew that the girl at the desk, me, had no idea what was around her/me. I had this immediate fear swell up in me and I didn’t know what to do. I was scared. I wanted to warn this girl/me. The blackness was gathering closer.
But all of a sudden there appeared four large warrior looking guys that stood in a half circle around me at my desk. They had their backs to me and were facing all the darkness. Their arms were crossed. These warriors were muscular and had what seemed to be an armored skirt on… right to their knees, and armor slightly over their chests. (My first thought was Neiphite warriors.) They didn’t look alarmed/or concerned, but seemed to have a peaceful, confidence stare into the blackness. There was light, bright light coming off of them and the girl/me. And the girl at the desk/me still had no idea of the darkness around her/me and went on studding.
I saw this and had an immediate peace fall over me. The vision/whatever it was closed and I was back in my own body, looking down at my scriptures at my desk. I ran to go tell Sister Garbett and then knelt down and poured out thanks unto the Lord for showing me that vision/scene.
I don’t even know if I make sense… but it was amazing! We do have so many things around us that want to break us down and the devil is working hard at getting us to fall or give into temptation. BUT if we are doing those things those things that God would have us always do, reading the scriptures, praying, going to church, paying tithing, attending the temple often, fasting, often, ect… WE NEED NOT FEAR!!! God will protect us, and make if so we aren’t even aware of the ever glooming powers at Satan!!! (I do not share this story to say look at me, for that is not how it is… I shared this story that we all may remember the forces of good that surround us if we do the things the Lord asks. He will never forsake us, even when we do him at times.)
As I have spoken with some friends recently and have thought about the times we live in and trying to raise kids in such a corrupting world, I often reflect back on this experience and take great peace in knowing-- yes, we are surrounded by evil. Unkindness, selfishness, lust, appetites and unrighteous passions...It is all around us, but we need not fear.
As I drove around in the breath-taking rain storm today, I had this car in front of me. I grabbed my camera while chuckling.
This is a true statement! (Ha, I added the amen onto the bottom of the tire!) Life is good! And in the strength of the Lord we can do all things (Alma 20:4)! We can “BE believing” We need no/and can not afford room for doubt. We can gain and build our faith in Christ through repentance and through prayer!
This is a clip from on of my most favorite movies... Facing the Giants. (Yes a little cheesy at parts, but the message is amazing!)
In the strength of the Lord! We don't give up. We keep going. We pray to Heavenly Father to help us. When our burdens become too heavy..."E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me...nearer my God to thee". Our crosses in this world raise us, closer to Him.
There is so much to be living for--for there was so much for Him to die/atone for!
Life IS good!