“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


1 Nephi 16


I recently gave to my husband “a ball of curious workmanship” to help him find his way while he drives in our new city. We call the ball a Garmin. Supposedly it will tell me (speak) where I should go, and prevent me from getting lost. It works on “faith” in that I have to believe that it knows what it is doing. But as we found out, like all things that work on the faith of man’s intellect it has its limitations.

Following directions is not always easy. I am not programmed like a robot, or like a homing pigeon to follow directions explicitly or to return home regardless of the circumstances. God programmed me with the power of choice. The spiritual gift of choice helps me navigate with a greater gift of “faith” and learn to rely on this many other gifts. The key is learning to understand the power of the choice within me.

Traveling with a Garmin can make my trip less stressful. All I need to do is plug in where I want to go and it will direct me there. A few key things to recognize:

a. I have to know where I want to go b. It does not know all things. It will not steer me clear of danger or remind me of when I need gas etc.. C. It relies on me to make the decisions; it is only as useful as I am able to follow the directions.

The Lord gave Lehi a “ball of curious workmanship”, called the Liahona. Because it came as a gift from God (it was not engineered by man) it had a few different characteristics: a. You didn’t have to know explicitly where you needed to go you only had to want to go where the Lord led you b. It was programmed to respond to faith and obedience. C. It did know all things and would answer based on your faith steering you clear of danger or refusing to work during periods of no faith. D. Like the Garmin it relied on you to decide (as to weather to be obedient and faithful but unlike the Garmin it worked not on scientific coordination but rather on faith in a higher power. So that when you learn to ask the right questions, it will steer you in the right direction.

Life is a bit like this chapter in Nephi. I can’t always predict the difficulties that I will encounter. Nephi broke his bow. Everyone was hungry. Everyone was tired. Everyone was lonely for Jerusalem. This led to everyone being angry. Nephi surveyed his situation and decided to improvise with what he had and rely on God to direct him to the food. (I don’t think a Garmin would do that).

God knows that I will have difficulties. He knows that life will not always turn out the way I plan or hope for. The joy is not in receiving what I want, but in learning what I have within me to give. The journey through the wilderness helps me discover this. The journey that is led (not by a Garmin) but by faith in God’s power to lead me where I need to be is the journey that will bless me with growth and joy.

Words and Phrases

(Vs. 2) according to the truth – Directions tell the truth of how to fix things, how to play a game, how to install something, how to put something together. The creator writes them.

(Vs 3) hard things – Once when after our family had purchased a new wash machine, we tried to put it together. After (not following directions) it didn’t work, those of us who were putting it together were frustrated and said a few hard things. The truth was we had not read the directions. One of us found the directions and discovered we had not removed a critical packaging piece. Sometimes hard things are necessary to get us to listen and follow directions.

(Vs. 8) blessed of the Lord exceedingly – I think if we all consider our circumstances. If we all realize where we live, how we live and what we get to do on a daily basis we might begin to believe we are “blessed in many ways”.

(Vs. 11) Whatsoever things we should carry into the wilderness – What would I take? I think I would take the directions on how to live so that I could receive instruction. Nephi did this when they went back for the brass plates. I think I would also take something to eat, sleep, and find food with. As well as being able to grow food. Mostly I would not want to be alone (with my own intelligence) but would want to have God’s wisdom at my disposal.

(Vs. 16) we did follow the directions – a reminder of the need for all of us to look to the plan… to follow the directions. To take a daily, a weekly, a monthly reminder to check back and see if we are indeed following the directions with faith.

(Vs. 18) break my bow – a reminder that even when we do all that is right, sometimes life happens. We might break our bow, our hammer, our stove, our washing machine, but we learn to use our intelligence and our faith together. We learn what we are capable of doing and we learn that together with God we can stop complaining and perish not.

(Vs. 24) he did inquire of the Lord, - it takes humility to inquire of the Lord. It often takes words to humble us. We go to church to hear the words that we need to learn to ask God.

(Vs. 28) work according to the faith and diligence and heed - the Liahona worked not just by faith, but also by diligence and heed. To heed something is to pay attention to it. To listen to it. To focus on it. To be diligent is to follow through and continue forward no matter how many distractions might plague you.

The interesting thing about a Garmin is that if I am too diligent in listening to it, I might run out of gas. (This almost happened to me on a recent trip). If I heed it too much I might find myself on a closed street, a blocked road, or in a lake( in a land where there is changed landscape). No amount of faith in this “curious ball” will save me from destruction. It can also become annoying when you make a “right” choice and turn your car around. It will continually talk to you and tell you to turn left, turn right, etc. Eventually I turn its voice off.

I have a “curious ball” of faith within me. It is called the Holy Ghost. It works with faith and will direct me and lead me to where God will have me go. I need only learn to heed its voice. I need to learn how to follow directions and live by faith.

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