“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.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Of a Surety-Finding the key Helaman 9:1-5

Helaman 9: 1-5

Yesterday, my daughter lost her keys at the wedding reception. After looking for close to an hour and with dusk closing around us, we decided that we would have to accept that we would not (at this time) find them. LanguageLady, however would not give up and kept searching in the dark, questioning herself and others as to where they might have gone? It would have proved to be an expensive lesson if she would have had to replace the keys... to her car, to her apartment, to her bike, etc. She desperately needed to find them. She needed to know where to look.

After we had done all we could, it was decided by her father that we should have a family prayer. So we gathered in a circle in the lawn and offered thanks for all of our "evidences", and for one another's help. Then we asked for help in finding the keys. When the prayer-circle broke a few of us suggested (per an answer) that they keys must have gone home (inadvertently) in a box carried by a grandmother. There was nothing to do, but wait for sunlight and have faith.

Sometimes we look around at our life, we consider our friends, our position in life, our possessions, and our roles in others lives... and we want to know that what we are doing is right. We want to have a sure knowledge. We want to know where to find the keys that will help us "operate" our lives.

God has given us 5 physical senses to help us find our way physically through life. In searching for my daughter's keys we used "vision"(we looked), "touch" (she remembered when she last held them), taste (she was carrying a platter of food when she last held the keys), and smell (she thought she placed them underneath the crab apple tree). I used my sense of hearing as I recalled speaking to my son upon leaving the car with her next to my side. All of these senses did not help us find the keys. We needed something more.

God has also given us spiritual senses that help us find the "surety" we seek. These spiritual senses require us to look first to God, listen to his prophets, give heed to His Holy spirit, and taste of his joy. These spiritual senses are the key to us finding our surety. Physically we will all have our challenges, our labels, our blind spots. Spiritually we need not have any handicaps. Spiritually we can rely on the strength of God and know "of a surety".

There were 5 who were sent to "look" at Nephi's evidence. These 5 declared they did not believe. These 5 were going to take a look-see, all the while believing they would disprove Nephi. Why? Because they knew what they knew physically and it was all they could comprehend. Nephi presented a case for evidence ("non physical" or spiritual). Their minds could only comprehend the science of reason. They knew nothing of spiritual faith.

My daughter called this afternoon replete with joy. During her trial of the "lost keys", she had not cried out in anguish. Nor had she lost her temper. She had not gone to anger, or accusation, but she had relied on faith. Her keys were found and her faith in God found the sureness of a spiritual realm that her physical body could not give her. They had in deed gone home in the wrong box. A few phone calls, a few more prayers, and a an exercise of faith brought them home and renewed her "surety" in God's love for her.

God sends us prophets so that someone will always have the "keys" to heaven. His prophets know not only where to find these keys, but how, when and where to use them. And most importantly the prophets teach us truths that show us how to find and use the keys of truth within us.
Words and Phrases

vs 1 ran to the judgement seat - these men ran to see if what Nephi spoke was true. How often do we run to God to see if what he says is true? Do we ever doubt the admonishments of our prophets? Do we put to test what he asks of us? These men were going to the physical judgment seat to see tangible evidence. We can take our "evidence" to our "judgement seat" when we look, listen, and hearken to the love that God extends to us.
vs 2 we will know of a surety - These men expected to have their questions answered by physical evidence. When they went they did not consider what might occur to them if indeed what they found was exactly what Nephi said. Why? They were thinking with their physical senses. They were about to face a spiritual witness. They went with the intention of disproving Nephi thinking there was no way he could know. Sometimes we don't know what we don't know.

vs 2 - then we will believe that the other words are true - Their faith is immature, weak, and must rely on a very basic foundation. They can not accept one evidence without another to confirm it. God works in two's. He requires that all of his witnesses occur in two's. Two missionaries. Two leaders, Two prayers (opening and closing). Two Testaments (Old and New Testament) Two Sticks.. (Judea and Ephraim) Two sexes (male and female) etc. It is not unreasonable that someone so unbelieving would require two pieces of evidence.

vs 3 ran in their might - When we want to know something, to find something, to understand something of importance to us, do we not run in our might? Do we not seek to know with earnest? These 5 did run in their might ( strength) to know right. How wonderful it would be if we all could run as these 5 to understand God's truth in our lives.
vs 4 they were astonished exceedingly -
Astonished - stunned, bewildered, dismayed... Their intellectual self could not comprehend what their spiritual self witnessed to them. Their spirits knew the truth. Their minds could not comprehend it. Remember they went with an unbelieving heart thinking they knew more than Nephi. They went with an arrogant attitude that they were right and Nephi was wrong. So great was their spiritual astonishment that it "knocked them to the ground" and they lost all physical strength.
vs 5 when they saw they believed - a moment of truth. Spiritually they recognized the truth. The physical sense caught up with the spiritual senses and they knew. They knew that if this were true then everything else this prophet had told them was also true. They knew that they were no longer unaccountable (because of their knowledge) and they began to fear for their choices, their fate, and the changes that their new faith would bring.

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