How does the story of a young man building a ship relate to being a widow?
The scriptures have an amazing ability to answer the questions that
I have about my life and to give me direction.
A story that I have read a thousand times can speak to me differently if...
I approach it in prayer,
with a question in mind,
and with paper and pencil to write down the thoughts that come while I read.
This morning I was reviewing my scripture study notes from January 13, 2013. I read in the Book of Mormon about the young man, Nephi, being directed to build a ship to aid his family in crossing the Atlantic ocean to the promise land.
I wanted to share what I learned from this story only two months after my husband died...
I was troubled by this immense burden.
I felt overwhelmed at the task at hand.
I wanted to know all of the answers of where my life was headed now.
These were the things that weighed on my mind as
I sat down to study this morning and
these are the answers that came.
Below the lessons I learned I am including the chapter as reference, especially for my readers who are unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon. My thoughts are in parenthesis and italics. I encourage you to read the account in conjunction with my notes. My hope is that you will be able to see how studying the scriptures in this way can open up the windows of heaven to you.
1. Through this scripture story the Lord was trying to teach me...
- If I would have faith in him and keep the commandments that he would help me get through this.
- Even though I didn't feel equipped to handle this, He would provide me with extra strength and abilities.
- He was not going to just remove it for me, but He would help me.
- When we don't have the ability to do something and yet after turning to Him we find miraculously to do what we thought was impossible, then our faith in Him is strengthened.
- We learn things we could not learn except in the midst of a trial.
2. I was reminded that the Lord had been preparing me to face this trial.
- As that thought entered my mind, I began to look for and then see those experiences that had prepared me. Those thoughts have continued to come as tender mercies over the months since then. Each piece further testifies to me that the Lord is so mindful of me individually.
- But if I had not specifically looked for and asked to notice those things, I would have glossed over their importance and the lessons the Lord had to teach me from them.
3. The Lord was not going to tell me what to do right away or all at once.
- He teaches us one thing at a time, giving us time to digest and implement that knowledge into our lives.
- I had to be willing to act on the knowledge I received and I had to do it right away.
- If I was not diligent in my actions I found that the lines of communication halted.
- In order to receive more instruction I had to prove trustworthy with prior direction.
4. I needed to stop complaining. I needed a can do attitude.
5. The Lord can be a light ahead of me if I will look to Him through prayer, the scriptures, and the words of his holy prophets.
EXAMPLE: SCRIPTURE REFERENCE AND MY NOTES
Chapter 17(If we have faith and keep the commandment we will be given strength beyond our own to deal with trials- God doesn't remove them, but he helps us get through them.)
(In difficult times The Lord prepares help for us so we don't perish. He wants us to be happy and have joy. He wants to comfort us. We have to look for those small but tender mercies he gives us and recognize and acknowledge them.)
(The Lord didn't tell Nephi everything to do at first. He asked him to do one simple thing. Because Nephi obeyed more revelation was forthcoming. The extent that the spirit will teach us depends on our willingness to act on the small And simple promptings.)
(Notice Nephi doesn't complain to The Lord, "How am I going to do that? I've never done that before." He has a can do attitude.)
(This is a type for all of our lives. If we will let him, The Lord can be the light and lead each of us through the wilderness if life here to the promise of eternal life.)