And They Did Have Light Continually
We all know the story of the Brother of Jared. We are most familiar with the Brother of Jared asking the Lord to touch stones in order to light the vessels he had prepared for their upcoming journey. There is more to the story though; more that has recently been revealed to me. I have grown to absolutely love this story for it has offered me more indepth knowledge of the purpose of my trials and a personal testimony that the Lord is personally escorting me through them.
And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?
I love this. The Lord personally helps prepare me for the thrashing of waves and strong winds that I will endure along my journey. But I also love that He doesn't do everything for me. He asks me questions to encourage me to think for myself and in turn ask Him for help; to ask Him for the very specific things which I need to stay buoyant. stay faithful and endure to the end.
O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.
I love the Brother of Jared here. He sounds like me. He sounds nervous and anxious because he is about to ask God something that he knows God can do, but he feels entirely unworthy to even ask. But he doesn't let that fear get in the way, he leans into it and asks anyway. I am left reflecting on how many times I have simply not asked for things I need because I am scared, or I feel unworthy, when God is sitting there, right in front of me, willing me to just ask. I do kind of love though, that he reminded God of His promise before asking Him to light the stones. Kind of like "OK God, you said you would do this and that's the only reason I'm asking." I love seeing the human side of super faithful prophets. It helps me feel more normal.
And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness.
The Lord does not want me to be in darkness. He will personally light my stones, anytime I ask, as often as I ask. He does this more often than I recognize, I am sure. But I am working to be more aware of when He does do it. A good example is when I asked Him to send me a very specific Angel, and He did.
And it came to pass that when they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them—and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God.
It's important to note that these chosen people did all they could to prepare for their arduous journey. They knew their journey was called of God, they had faith in Him, they believed and trusted Him. They worked hard before their storm to prepare themselves as best they could for the storm. I can learn from this. It's important for me to prepare as best as I can for my hard times when the winds aren't blowing so hard. Such preparation will keep me nourished and safe during the chaos.
And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.
This scripture is particularly poignant to me. The storm, the winds, the waves... they were all necessary to propel the people toward their destination; toward the promised land. Such is with my trials. The Lord has required that I take this journey in order to reach my destination, to be with Him, to return home. He wants me there with Him more than anything - and that is the very reason He personally helps me prepare for each round of trials.
And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.
Even though the people had prepared as best they could, and the Lord personally touched stones to light their darkness, they still experienced moments where they were completely submerged by the waves. There were still times, even though faithful, that they were terrified of their current circumstances. Yes, fear and faith cannot coexist, but it is possible to be faithful in my action and in my work but not feel faithful at the time. I chose to take this journey, I prepared for it, I got on the boat and sealed myself up in it, and yet, even in the face of all that faith I still experience fear. But, it is the very action of my faith that sustains me through those scary times; during the times I feel more scared than I do secure.
And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tightlike unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.
But in those moments, when they were completely submerged, seemingly lost forever in the abysmal darkness, they cried out to the Lord for help... and He answered. Each and every time He brought them back to the surface. Each and every time He answers my prayers. He sends His Holy Spirit, He sends legions of Angels; even very personal ones. He provides the Priesthood over the face of all the earth and He provides personal council from His very prophets that I can access at the turn of a page or a click of a button. He has given all this to me, to you, to us; all these mechanisms that continually bring us to the surface.
And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water.
This scripture is so beautiful to me. My heart just warms every time I read it. The Lord loved His people so much that He continually protected them from darkness and from danger. Even though the winds were blowing they were kept 100% safe and they were also continually moving toward home, toward Father.
I know these scriptures to be true. I know the Lord has carefully orchestrated my trials for my personal benefit. He is refining me to be the best tool I can be for Him. He does all this because He loves me. And I love Him enough to let Him.