Of late I have been somewhat distracted and overwhelmed by events, and circumstances in our world. With scandals at the very top of our Government, unwise legislation being passed frequently and good laws being struck down in high places, and terrible trials of heinous acts of violence perpetrated by women and children, being shared almost as entertainment, and much of my countries citizery choosing to support laws born of greed, covetousness, or immorality, my simple naturally trusting self, who craves order, peace, and beauty finds myself burdened with dispair. In the midst of an afternoon feeling this way, Jeff and I had a regional training to attend for Stake and Ward leaderships and the ward leadership of those involved in teaching the youth with the new Come Follow Me program. David McKonkie, counselor in the General Sunday School Presidency came to speak with us, along with our wise and wonderful area seventy Elder Brad Risenmay with whom we have been privileged to have an number of associations in the last 6 months.
Elder Risenmay is a man who while still working in his insurance company in Moses Lake, is also responsible for approximately 35 Stakes, training and assisting thier Stake Presidencies and many other duties . He is almost never home on weekends, traveling constantly to do his duty, in this case even on a Friday evening, of a Memorial Day weekend holiday. He carries himself with nearly constant Good Cheer. I capitalize that because that is how Jeff and I label him... a man of pleasant, comforting, never drawing attention to himself, never showing or speaking of fatigue or inconvenience that he must feel, but radiating steady, encouraging good cheer. He is a role model and mentor of great character. He conducted the meetings, introduced both the topic and Brother McKonkie, and spoke again very briefly at the end of the meeting, and left me with some reminders, that helped shift my discouraged thoughts to the truth of our situation instead of the one my natural eyes tend to see.
As this meeting was in regards to the new teaching methods and materials, he spoke of the miracle that the Come Follow Me Curriculum was completed and ready at nearly the same time as the Prophets revelation to lower missionary ages to 18 for young men and to 19 for young women. This change has increased our missionary force from 54,000 in October, by nearly 20, 000 currently with thousands more awaiting calls or in the process of paperwork. It is expected by the end of the year to have between 80,000-100,000 missionaries serving throughout the world. He said, "The Lord is showing forth HIs marvelous power in a magnificent way."
There is hope and magnificence, in a strong and courageous army of youth, younger than ever before, but striving to be worthy and willing to volunteer to boldly go into a largely apathetic at best, and wicked world, to share with them the Good News of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. To testify that there are yet again Prophets and Apostles called of God, who speak with and for God to His children on the earth, to guide, protect and lead us if we will listen. It is the only message that will bring lasting peace and prosperity to individuals, communities, and countries. Never has there been more need, coupled with so many messengers. And the Lord in his wisdom is sending it forth through the weak and simple, nearly from the "mouth of babes" will it largely be spoken.
With this remarkable contnranst in my mind, a passage in a small book I am reading stood out as TRUTH, even now, in our time, in my circumstances. In Brent L. Top's book "When You Can't Do it Alone, Take the Saviors Hand", he shares the story from 2 Kings 6:17, and how Elisha and his young servant were encircled by a Sirian army determined to capture him. The young servant is fearful and asks in essence, 'What are we going to do?'. Elisha responds with "They that be with us are greater than they that be with them, " and then petitions The Lord to open the young mans eyes. This occurs and he is then able to discern the mountain behind them filled with horses and chariots of fire sent to defend and protect these two righteous servants of the Lord.
With this in my mind, and the thoughts of Elder Risenmay so recently in my mind, I was uplifted, to be reminded that The Lord can and is fighting his own battles. He is NOT unaware of the troubles in my day and He is sending forth an army of His own choosing. I can be a part of that army as I trust in faith and become familiar with His word for us in both the scriptures and the modern counsel of prophets. I have been reading the Conference talks and marking the "to-do's" so I can easily reference them in reviewing what counsel we have been given for our modern protection and guidance. If I keep focused on my Savior, remembering that He is "mighty to save", he always has and he does and will, to those who trust in His methods and seek to see him in the midst of our own circumstances.
I was then curious about what happened to Eilsha and his servant. What method of deliverance was used? Did that army of fiery chariots obliterate the enemy army? It seemed logical to me.... but my son Layton looked it up as we discussed and reminded me of the facinating outcome. The entire army was struck with "blindness" such that Elisha walked out and told them this was not the city they sought and led them instead to Samaria. Some brief pondering on this tells me that the army was not actually made blind in that they could not see ANYTHING, but in fact they could not see truth. They could not recognize that they were in fact actually exactly where they had meant to be and were speaking with exactly the man they had intended to capture, and they could also not see that they were headed for the center of enemy territory. Their unrighteousness allowed them to be blinded too Truth.
On the other side, the righteous assistant to the Prophet Elisha was allowed to have his "blindness" removed that he coudl see the reality of the protection Heaven was providing them. In the end, the fiery Chariots of Heaven did not destroy the Syrian army at all. I wondenred what they were there for then? I am not sure, but I believe what seeing htem would have done for me, had I been Elishas servant, was to inspire confidence. And isn't this exactly what I hope to have always as a disciple of Christ in this challenging world? Confidence in My Lord and Savior. I think I am going to be altering my prayers in the future to more clearly see His might and great works in the world around me. This is how I can more fully come to know and feel the "peaceable things that bring joy..." see see D&C 42:61.
And that's the only kind of songs I want to be heard singing.....
Happy Sabbath All!