Friday, November 6, 2015

The Road Not Traveled

This past week I've indulged in the last part of 2Nephi.  I have read and re-read chapters 28-33.  There were many things I loved and learned while studying these different chapters and even verses.  The first one that caught my attention was 2Nephi 28:2 which reads:

2. And the things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel.

President Ezra Taft Benson taught that, "Each of the major writers of the Book of Mormon testified that he wrote for future generations."  "If they saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon?  We should constantly ask ourselves, 'Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record?  What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?"

I have taken these questions to heart while studying it out in my mind.  I believe that these prophets of the Book of Mormon were inspired and guided through the power of the Holy Ghost to write specifically for our day.  The last days.  They were shown our day so that they may be able to discern what we would need in order for us to make it on that strait and narrow path back home to our father in heaven.  A path that is not easy at all.  You could call it. . . the road less travelled.  One of my peers in my online class used the Savior as the ultimate example.  He talked about how the Savior travelled the road not travelled at all by anyone else because no one else was qualified for that 'bitter cup' that he partook of in the garden of Gethsemane.  When I think of this moment in His life, I think of D&C 19:16-18:

16. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.
17. Bit if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18. Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit-and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink

I am so humbled to my very core when I read this scripture.  It is such a heart-wrenching read.  I can't even imagine what He went through, but for Him to carry out His father's plan so that I may have a sure way back to my heavenly home, fills me so much love and compassion towards my Savior.  It helps me to continually ask for forgiveness for all of my short-comings and work towards turning them into strengths.  I am so grateful for such a loving father in heaven whose arm is always stretched out still.

Another interesting couple verses that I learned so much from this week was in 2Nephi 29:12-13 which reads:

12. For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.
13. And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.

I was really excited after studying these two verses because I am excited to discover in the Lord's time, when he will reveal these "lost books" unto us.  It's so amazing to know that there are other people that the Lord is revealing His work to and I look forward to reading it.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, "Lost books are among the treasures yet to come forth.  Over twenty of these are mentioned in the existing scriptures.  Perhaps most startling and voluminous will be the record of the lost tribes of Israel.  We would not even know of the impending third witness for Christ except through the precious Book of Mormon, the second witness for Christ!  This third set of sacred records will thus complete a triad of truth.  Then, just as the Perfect Shepherd has said, 'My word also shall be gathered in one'.  There will be 'one fold and one shepherd' in a welding together of all the Christian dispensations of human history."

I have been working on the attribute of obedience these past couple of weeks.  Obedience to many things for this attribute can be applied across the board in our lives.  I see the Lord's hand in every single moment of my life.  I see it in my kids' lives.  I see it in the lives of those around me whether they be families, friends, or neighbors.  Keeping this attribute of obedience has given me such peace of mind in my life.  It has helped me to draw boundaries that I will never cross.  It has helped me grow my testimony in the law of tithes, offerings, prayer and fasting.  This road has not been an easy one to travel down and that's okay.  I'm not one to take the easy route in anything I do.  Some may call it stubbornness, but I know that every experience I go through is Heavenly Father's way of molding me into the person I am to become.  I have prayed for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to guide me through this ever so lonesome and dreary world.  I have prayed to recognize his still, small voice so that I may be able to act on the promptings I receive.  It has been a saving grace for me.  I have been able to strengthen my personal relationships with my kids through consistent family prayers, weekly church attendance, and weekly family home evenings.  We've made some big changes in our lives as a family and I am touched with the Lord's hand in these decisions we've made.  We are working on our eternal salvation with a family goal of, "No empty seats in heaven."  That is our exact goal to eternal life.  We have talked about having no empty seats in heaven.  We don't want anyone to be left behind.  We can't imagine eternity without any one of us there in the celestial kingdom together so we have weekly challenges in our family home evenings that are attached to each lesson given.  We report on how we did or did not work on our challenges in the following week's family home evening.  It has been a success so far and has helped us to each work on different attributes that will help strengthen our relationships with the Savior on a more personal level.  This week's challenge is on prayer.  Praying to Heavenly Father on something we are struggling with right now or something we want to understand more of or just plain thanking Him for specific blessings he has bestowed on us individually.  I'm looking forward to hearing their reports and reporting my own experience.  These weekly challenges have forced us into action.  We are not just talking about how we should be.  We are doing what we should be doing and growing through our different progress.

Elder David A. Bednar said, "Coming unto Christ is not a single event with a fixed point of beginning or ending; rather, it is a process that develops and depends during a lifetime.  As an initial step in the process, we certainly must obtain knowledge and learn about Jesus and His life, teachings and ministry.  But truly coming unto Him also requires consistent obedience and striving to become like Jesus in our thoughts, motives, communications, and actions.  As we 'press forward' on the pathway of discipleship, we can draw near unto the Savior with the expectation that He will draw unto the Savior with the expectation that He will draw hear unto us; we can seek Him diligently with the hope that we shall find Him; we can ask with confidence that we shall receive; and we can knock anticipating that the door shall be opened unto us."

I challenge you all to, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30.  

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