“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.

Friday, December 14, 2012

3 Nephi 3: 1-5 Family Covenants

Joseph of Egypt shares his vision of dreams 
 I remember my Grandfather sitting in his office writing. He was always working on a novel - a western I believe. He let me read part of it once. I was taken back with all of the  editing marks, but still I was impressed with his courage and effort.  He was a writer (and a painter) and he wanted more than anything to pass this passion on to  his descendants. ie. My father and me. And here I am. He did it. 
I don't believe that I will ever write a novel, but who knows? I have discovered the link between writing and inner peace. The ability to express my feelings on paper seems to be linked to my father and grandfather. 
So when I read this third chapter of 2 Nephi and began to comprehend it as a blessing of inheritance I of course had to think about my grandfather. One of my favorite memories is when he let me steal away to the second floor bedroom with his journal. When I read about my Dad's first steps, I was hooked. I not only saw, but felt the magic of his words. 
Not too many years before Grandfather's time came, he tried to give me his journal. He tried to get me to take it home with me. I wrapped my arms around it's large binding and was overcome with joy. But soon the realization that these memories had rights struck me.  I refused his offer on the grounds that it was not my place. My Aunt has rightful possession of it now. I believe inheritance should pay proper respect. 
In it he spoke of the difficulties of farm life. Of the joys of his mother's love. So when I read Lehi's words about Joseph's wilderness of afflictions, I thought of my grandfather. And when later in the chapter I read about Lehi's descendants and ancestors and how the Lord had made covenants with them, how the Lord would bring them out of darkness, I thought of my grandfather. 
His grandfather's came from Ireland looking for a "precious land" where his seed could find "inheritance ... for security forever."(vs2)   if it so be it that they should keep the commandments of the Holy one of Israel. We have a Presbyterian Church in London Ontario that the Conkey Family donated the land for. Many of the first immigrant families are buried there. 
Like Lehi, Grandfather's father's did not want their seed to be destroyed. They wanted to do whatever they had to do to ensure that "thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed." (vs3)
Grammpa Hal would sit and tell me about the days past.  And like Lehi I could hear stories about distant ancestors who left the families homeland so that security could be found. Security from war, from famine, from sin. Security promised through covenants with God. 
Joseph of Egypt was Lehi's g g g g (? how many) great grandfather. He had made a covenant with God and God had made promises to Joseph about his descendants. I have no doubt that my  grandfathers were God fearing men who prayed a mighty prayer. I believe that the reason I am writing today is because of their blood that surges through me. I believe that there is great power in understanding what it means to be "the fruit of thy loins." When we understand the sacrifice, the humility, the prayer, the patience, and the honesty that our fathers fought for and lived for , it enlightens my resolve. 
So I began to wonder about my own family? about the talents, gifts, blessings, strengths, weaknesses and darkness that exists in our gene pool. And I began to see that God loved Lehi's family enough to ensure their survival, "yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom." (vs5) And like Lehi I began to see how the Lord has blessed our family with the power to write words and speak what we believe. And I began to see how my own father's talent has guided me and has protected me and has become a beacon to bring his own descendants out of darkness, if only we will remember the covenants our fathers have made with the "Lord God." 
Lehi's family had a major role to play in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His branch would go on to write a stick that would witness to the "stick of Judah". His family contained many prophets that would testify to the Lord Jesus Christ's divinity and would carry out a great work. And Lehi was able to share this with his son how? Because "Joseph truly saw our day," and "obtained a promise of the Lord." And because Lehi understood the importance of the written word to his descendants. As a prophet he had been commanded to write, as Joseph of Egypt had written. The power of these written promises serves not only to remind future generations but to motivate them to live for them. 
My families gospel journey has just begun. With my father's conversion and baptism on 17 December 1960, our family's faith has continued to climb further and further out of darkness. Truth brings light and strength. With each truth revealed we gain new understanding. We have had many weaknesses made strong. We have learned the power of the written word. We have tested our faith. And because we have learned of our ancestors faith we have been able to further understand the promises of our Lord with our fathers. Great or weak.. It is the  our beginning and,  our journey. One that we grow increasingly stronger on. One that exists, I exist, I love, I breath because of the covenants of my father, and his fathers.  

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