Thursday, June 18, 2015


Recently, I was reading in the Book of Mormon.  Particularly, I was studying the account of the brother of Jared, the barges he built and his faith.  Similar to his predecessor Noah, the brother of Jared was inspired to build boats or barges to protect his people from the calamities of the land.  This faithful brother was even instructed as to how to design the barges, like a dish.  As with most projects, there is bound to be a question or two along the way.  And, so it was, with the brother of Jared ---- how would they breathe and how would they see, within the walls of such a barge?  This brother seeks his higher power, and takes it to Lord in prayer, seeking guidance, inspiration and answer to the valid concerns of his heart.   The brother of Jared is divinely instructed to make a hole in the top and bottom of the dish-like barge, and uncork the hole when air was needed.  If water comes in, plug the hole and wait for the storm to subside.  He doesn't say, "I'll make the storm stop so that you can have air."  He instructs this brother, to replace the cork and wait, endure the storm and reminds him that it will pass.  The brother of Jared reminds the Lord about the much needed light.  This time, rather than giving  solution, the Lord asks this brother, "What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?"  Rather than simply giving heavenly instruction, this time, the Lord gives the brother of Jared an opportunity to think for himself, to create a plan and to exercise faith, to stretch and grow like never before.  And, so it is with many of life's experiences.  I remember vividly, minutes after my husband left, draping myself over my bed and pleading in prayer, "What now?", was all I could mutter.  Over the sound of my own sobs I heard the words, "Keep it normal!" "Keep the Spirit!"  And, "Keep the house!"  Those words have run through my mind and heart, daily, as I have endured the heartbreak of divorce, the rigors of part-time jobs and full-time school, and on into remarriage and the daily blending, listening and compromise that is required.  I have tried to keep things as "normal" and secure as possible and, I have tried to make my actions consistent with the spirit.  The house, oh the house!  I was left with a defaulted and botched mortgage, and an income, that on paper, would not suffice.  I have asked for heavenly guidance and hoped for an answer, much like the "hole in the barge" for air.  However, I have been required to climb and carve, plead and pray instead.  Still not clear with a plan, but willing and listening for the way........and I know, it will come!

I have always loved this scriptural account, full of life's lessons, however, in reading it this week, this next part hit me like a ton of bricks.  The brother of Jared went to the mountains, mount Shelem to be exact, which is known for its "exceeding height."  There he did "molten out of rock sixteen small stones."  No doubt exhausted from ship building and worries of the calamities of his time.  He begins to hike to the top of the mount, a very tall mountain.  And so, the brother of Jared continues this hike to the top, with the 16 "small stones", in his hands!  This is the part I had to read and re-read again and again.  Here he is, tired, he has built 8 boats, followed the instructions for air, now he is hiking a mountain, with hands full of faith, to the "top of the mount."
 He approaches the Lord again, in prayer, after quite a hike, tired, fatigued, worn out I'm sure with worry and being physically taxed.   He recognizes the fact that storms will continue to rage and that he is far from perfect.  But, that as children of God, we have been taught to pray.  Then, he acknowledges the power of prayer, of deity.  The miraculous potential in the hand of God, if we but ask. And he states his faith knowing that the Lord CAN work miracles, and presents his plan and asks Him to touch the 16 small stones within his hands, and make them light.  And, he does..........because of his faith.  This boat builder and hiker, just as far from perfect as the rest of us, with his 16 small stones of faith, that fit in hands, became light.
 It struck me how small the stones were, if 8 fit in each hand.  And, how 2 stones would be enough to light a dark, storm-tossed, barge.  I realized the power of prayer.  I realized He listens.  I realized that if we just exercise a "small stone's" worth of faith, it IS enough light to brighten any day, lighten any challenge and triumph over any trial.  I also realized that sometimes we receive heavenly answers, other times we receive heavenly guidance through the storms and the building of one's character.  I realized that even though I do my best, I will still experience storms and may even have to climb a mountain for answers and strength to navigate the chaos of life, but He is there!  And, that those are the times when we can see the "finger" of Lord touching our lives........when we are willing to keep climbing, keep building and keep praying.  And, when we exercise just a "stone's" worth of faith.  It only takes a little bit of light to dispel darkness, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Just a little, one prayer, one page, one verse.........He is there, and what we have to offer is enough.  We are all boat builders, building testimonies, families and communities.  We can't do it alone.  If you haven't ever prayed, make today the first.  If it's been a while, now's the time.  There's guidance we cannot receive any other way.  Storms will come, and so will light, with hands full of faith and a willingness to climb!  He is there.  We just need to ask.  He is light!

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