“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.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

that they might know and remember (Helaman 16) a first ray of light

Families have stories that settle deep within us, that become the core strength of our existence, of our success, of our faith. These stories become our shafts of light that not only teach us so that we might know, but also remind us of how we first came to know of his love.

Faith is to believe in things hoped for but not seen. But sometimes.. the Lord allows us to see and feel and behold things ..... so that as Samuel says
"that they might know and remember at the time of their coming that they had been made
known unto them beforehand."

If we don't take time to write these blessings and accounts down, we might forget and miss the opportunities that God wants us to receive. I am grateful to my father for his written account of our families first ray of light.

My parents married in 1954 in Florida. Because my father had recently returned from Japan he attended school on the GI Bill. Before he set a goal to graduate from Michigan State University he and my mother set out to farm a small acreage of land on the family farm. Farming is not an easy life, and they struggled to make ends meet.
By the grace of God they managed. But then one July day in 1955 a heavy rain deluged his crops and drove him to his knees. The downpour had destroyed everything and left him totally broke. He prayed like he had never prayed before. He prayed until God showed him a sign. From this sign he knew that he had been heard and that his prayers had been answered.

After much consultation and consideration the family moved to Florida and began life anew. Then in September of 1960 a knock came upon their door. Two missionaries stood at their threshold telling him of eternal truths.

Dad politely listened as he smoked his cigarettes. He politely listened until he heard them speak of Joseph Smith's vision, of a ray of light. A ray of light that came as a shaft from heaven and lit the entire space of his room.

At this testimony my father took pause. His heart skipped. His throat tightened. He too had seen a light. Back in Michigan on his knees, he too had experienced this same answer to prayer. A spirit of truth shot through him. An understanding took root and he began to listen with greater sincerity.

In answer to his prayers, God had sent him a shaft of light as a sign to his love. My father recognized this light as the truth that he had felt that hot Michigan night while on his knees. He recognized that he had been given "that "he" might know and remember at the time of their coming that "his love" had been made known unto "him" beforehand.

Dad accepted the gospel and was baptized December 17, 1960. This December will mark 50 years in the faith of Jesus Christ. As he puts it... December 17 marks my birthday into eternal life.      

God will prepare the way for us, but we must do our part. My father was able to recognize the truth of God's love in the message of the missionaries because he did his part. He prayed with a sincere heart and then he exercised this prayer through his faith. When God sent his missionaries his heart was prepared to "know and remember" and then receive.

How has God prepared his love for me? How has my life been changed because my father accepted the message of the Lord's missionaries? Why is it important for me to write and ponder these things from time to time? Why is it so easy in today's world to be carried away by the winds of the world and forget all that God has given and done for us?

Words and Phrases

vs 1 many who heard - there are many who listen and hear the words of the prophets. We are blessed with many great blessings when we heed the words of God's beloved prophets.
vs 2 The spirit of the Lord was with him - God will protect his prophets until the time of their message is fulfilled.
vs 3 - there were many more who did believe - (because they could not hit him) strange way to convert, but okay. God's power is mightier than man's strength.

vs 4. that they might know - baptizing, prophesying, preaching, repent, signs wonders, miracles.. ... not a little work for the welfare of the souls of men.

vs 5 that they might know and remember at the time of their coming that they had been made known unto them before hand - we all have things that God has told us and when it happens we think back. I knew that was going to happen. When we listen.. When we read. When we take the time God will direct us and show us all that we must do to be kept safe and to witness to us that He is real and that his Mission is for our salvation.
vs 6 he hath a devil - Why would they think this? Because they could not understand God's ways. Because he was able to tell the future. Because of his gifts of the spirits. Because they were not lovers of truth, but rather lovers of selfishness.

vs 10 the more part of the people.. .the lesser part - not very equally divided.

vs 13 great signs given unto the people - wonders, -
vs 14 the scriptures began to be fulfilled -

vs 15 depend upon their own strength - it is the most difficult path when we will not allow our father's wisdom to guide us.
vs 17 they began to reason ... and contend - reasoning is not faith. reasoning leads to contention. Why? because reasoning means that you must rely on the mind of man and only one man can be right. Faith allows for greater perspective.

vs 22 many more things did they people imagine
- when our faith fails us we turn to our imagination. When our faith fails us we forget to remember the signs of his love.
vs 23 not withstanding the signs and the wonders - we all have opportunity to have God work in our lives. I believe that a loving Father makes it possible for all of us to receive his love in our life and to know of signs that witness to our heart. But some of us will refuse these signs... some of us will "notwithstanding" all that we see and know and believe. Some of us will forget, we will not write it down upon our hearts.

In our family, my father has written it down. In his personal history he tells a most eloquent story of his conversion and the shaft of light that became his sign. Everytime I hear or remember the story of Joseph Smith's prayer in the sacred grove, I am reminded of my father's prayer one cold Spring night. I am reminded that this sign was given that we (his family) might all "know and remember" how God loves us and how God sends us signs so that when the truth comes our hearts know.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful story Linda - thanks for making me a part of it.
    Love dad


Related Posts with Thumbnails