Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Will Go and Do

One of my heroes is Nephi from the Book of Mormon.  He is such a shining example of standing for what is right.  I want to share a story about Nephi with you.  It is in the Book of Mormon and I won't completely give everything away, but I want to talk about the very beginning of the Book of Mormon with you.  Lehi (the father) is commanded by the Lord to take his family and leave Jerusalem.  They leave all of the worldly possessions and take just what they need with them.They walk into the wilderness leaving everything behind.  They walk for about four days and then Lehi receives a commandment from Heavenly Father. The commandment is that his sons (Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi) are to return to Jerusalem and get the brass plates from Laban.
How excited would you be to head back to the place you just left after walking for four days?  It doesn't sound really fun to me, but the question is would you do it willingly because Heavenly father asked you to?  I hope that I would be like Nephi and not like his brothers Laman and Lemuel.  Nephi's brothers were not excited to go.  Nephi  showed great faith as he replied: 1 Nephi 3:7 " I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."  Nephi understands that the Lord will never give us something that we cannot do.  He gathers up his brothers and they head back to Jerusalem.  The first time they go to Laban's house they fail.  Laban will not give up the plates and he sends men after them to kill them.  The second time they take all of their worldly items (their gold, silver, and riches) and try to trade him these for the plates.  He loves the things they bring and so he takes them and then sends men after them to kill them.  At this point his brothers don't want to go back.
Thankfully we have Nephi that says he will go back.  He gets there and is commanded to do something very hard. I'm going to leave this part a mystery and you can read it in the Book of Mormon. The account is in 1 Nephi 4.  I will tell you that he is able to obtain the plates.  The Lord provides a way that he can accomplish the commandment he had given to Nephi and his brothers.  Sometimes in our lives we are given commandments from Heavenly Father that seem impossible. If the Lord commands us to do something he will provide a way that we can fulfill that commandment.  Never forget this!  There is nothing that is impossible with the Lord.  I know that we can do anything the Lord asks us to do.  Let us go forth with faith, believing that our Heavenly Father will help us.  It wasn't easy for Nephi to accomplish what the Lord asked, but the Lord made it possible and this is how it is in our lives.  It may not be easy to accomplish, but it will be something we can do.  It will never be impossible if it is a commandment from Heavenly Father!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Walking on Water

I decided that I wanted to study the New Testament and focus more on the Savior and His life.  A story that I have heard many times struck me and has made me think about how soon I turn to my Savior to help me.  The story is found in Matthew 14: 24- 33.  The story goes that the apostles were out on a ship at night and the wind and the waves were terrible.  The apostles were scared and then they looked out and saw something walking on the water.  Naturally, they were more scared at this point.  They thought it was an evil spirit or a ghost.  Jesus called out to them not to be afraid and that it was Him.  Peter says to Jesus that if it truly is Him he should bid Peter to walk out to Him on the water.  Jesus tells Peter that he can get out of the boat and walk to Him.  I cannot imagine the faith that Peter shows by stepping out of the boat and into the water truly believing that he can walk on the water.  I am pretty sure that my faith would not have been that strong.
But, Peter is in the water, or should I say on the water at this point.  He is doing it! He is walking on the water!  Then he notices the wind and how HUGE the waves are.  He looses sight of the Savior and focuses on the water for a split second and he begins to sink. The part that stood out to me was the next verse:  30, But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And the very next words are And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, ...  How often in our life do we lose sight of our Savior and rather than immediately cry out for His help we wait until we're nearly "drowning"? I know that our Savior is always there for us and that He will immediately stretch forth His hand to help us.  Jesus loves us and is waiting for us to turn to him.  We don't need to wait until we can barely breath to turn to him and to cry out for help.  He loves you and wants to help!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Kites... and commandments?!

So often in life we think that if only we didn't have rules that we would be so free and we could just "take flight".  Now think of a kite.  It is held down with a string.  Right?!  That's what you would think:  If we were to cut the string the kite would soar.  It would go so much higher than it ever can with that string attached to it.  However, this is a thought that completely doesn't happen.  When a kite's string is cut the kite plows into the ground.  The same goes with our lifes.  If we were not to have any commandments, we would not do nearly as well as we do when we have commandments to help us.  The commandments are not to "hold us down" but to allow us to "fly high".  The commandments don't bind us, but they free us.  We need guidelines to follow to stay free and not become ensnared.  These commandments are such blessings.  Next time you are tempted to "cut the strings" and "fly high" just remember a kite and what happens when it's strings are cut.  The same thing happens to us.  Allow the commandments to bless your life.