I Speak Unto You as if Ye were Present Mormon 7-9
I’ve been doing some deep thinking this week as I studied these three chapters in Mormon. Clearly the title of the lesson, I speak unto you as if ye were present, tells me that there are important messages here that I need to grab a hold of. Considering all the work that Mormon put into compiling this record, and this is his final wrap up, he has limited space on the plates, and limited time for both he and Moroni, it stands to reason that they would want to close with their most important messages.
There was one scripture in the three chapters that really jumped out at me this week:
Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
Mormon 9: 21
God is a God of miracles. He has not ceased to do them, every day. But they are dependent on our personal righteousness. But then again, just because we are righteous doesn't mean we get everything we want.
I read this scripture and stopped to ponder it for quite a while. I thought about the many people I know (including myself) that have prayed for a miracle that doesn’t come. I’ve had struggles with my own personal bitterness in my life when that has happened.
The Miracles that Don't Come
When my son that is disabled was still a newborn, I went to a bookstore looking for books to help me understand what I was up against, and how I could possibly make things better. I found one in particular that had a hopeful message for me. He had brain damage, and I knew that. But the people who had written this book said that it could be reversed. It would take a lot of effort on my part, but there was a system, and I was determined to do it. I finished that book, full of that can-do attitude, read to dive right in.
I called a good friend of mine. She was older, and was also the mother of a disabled son that had passed away. She had traveled the road I was on, only she was more than a decade ahead of me, so she had the benefit of hindsight that I didn’t have. I told her all about the book and my plan. She was kind, but honest as she told me that she had read the same book nearly 15 years earlier, and she had tried the processes that they suggested. She told me about the toll it took on her marriage and her family, and how none of it had made any difference in her son.
Part of me was angry because she had snuffed out my enthusiasm, but I was also glad that she had pointed out all the things I hadn’t thought of. In my anger and frustration, I threw the book away. And bitterness set in. I wasn’t angry with my friend, I was angry with my circumstance.
I had prayed and prayed and prayed for a miracle and nothing came. There were stories all over the place of other families with their sick or disabled children, and how faith and miracles had made everything better. But not for me.
I have learned a lot since those days (yes, it was nearly 28 years ago…) about miracles and blessings, and the things that come to us in our trials. And looking back over a lifetime of taking care of him, there have been plenty of miracles. Just not the one I wanted in those early days.
There are miracles we can have RIGHT NOW
Maybe that scripture and this story explains part of the reason I loved Elder Holland’s talk in this last Conference so much, as he said:
“God can provide miracles instantaneously, but sooner or later we learn that the times and seasons of our mortal journey are His and His alone to direct”
But that doesn’t mean we always need to be waiting for EVERYTHING. As I thought about these things and pondered on that scripture, I realized that there are some things that I can ask for right now and He WILL grant them to me, right now.
Things like feeling hope at a time when things feel sort of hopeless. Or that my faith will grow and be strong as I study the scriptures. Or that I will have strength to endure when things aren’t going my way. Or, and this is a big one for me, to not be overcome with anger when there is so much contention swirling around me.
God is definitely still a God of miracles, and even when He won’t part my personal Red Sea, there are so many other ways that He can create miracles in my life if I stay close and look for them.
So Many Messages!
One of the activities I put on the Challenge Cards this week is the new Book of Mormon Series video about Moroni. It's funny because it's so out of order from where the videos left off, but I'm really glad they made this one.
I was watching it, and I honestly can't imagine what it was like for Moroni after his father was gone, his family was gone...he had no friends and nowhere to go. Yet he took the time to record these words for us. Watching the video really brought to life for me what his situation must have been like, and I feel like it made me appreciate his words all that much more.
This Week's Challenge Cards
I thought it might be a struggle to come up with things this week but I was wrong! There were a bunch, and I hope you enjoy them! If you haven't signed up for the newsletter yet, be sure to subscribe and I will send them to you each week on Sunday night.