April 26, 2011

To Bless the Life of Another

Last night I was on my knees. I've been worried and concerned about a few things, and last night it became all too overwhelming for me, and I had to take it to the Lord. While praying, a feeling of peace came and I was filled with gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who provides us with the Gift of the Holy Ghost. While talking with my Heavenly Father, the thought came to read Alma 17. Great. Love that chapter. It's when Ammon and the Sons of Mosiah begin their missions. I thought that was an appropriate reading assignment.

Sister Randall had already turn the lights off and went to bed. However, anxious to hear what the Lord had to tell me, I grabbed my copy of the Book of Mormon and maneuvered my way through the dark to the bathroom. I turned on the light, closed the door quietly, and began to read. The thought came to me that the Lord speaks to us through his scriptures, so in other words, "Pay attention!" I tried very hard not to let my mind wander as I read the words of an ancient prophet from so many years ago, pleading with the Lord to let it apply to me today.

I read of Alma meeting up with the Sons of Mosiah and the joy they experienced. I read of how they had become powerful missionaries through searching the scriptures diligently, praying mightily, and fasting in humility. They were given power and authority to be instruments in the hands of God. I read of how the sons of Mosiah had been teaching the gospel for 14 years, and of the great success they had had. I read of their sufferings, and their afflictions. I read of how the Lord comforted them with His spirit.

And then I read this: "Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls." (Alma 17:11)

This scripture was the Lord speaking directly to me. I felt the impact, and importance of those words on my heart as I read them. At first, I couldn't fully understand what it was that the Lord was trying to tell me. And I suppose that I am still learning exactly what he meant. But after reflecting on it as well as the feelings that came to my heart and my mind, I came to learn something very important. Sometimes, we have trials that aren't necessarily all for us. We can each learn and grow from the experiences we face, but perhaps the Lord allows us to struggle so that at a future point in our lives we can bless the life of another.

Ammon and the Sons of Mosiah were among the greatest missionaries to ever walk the face of the earth. Missionaries over 2000 years later study their methods, and the process in which they led others to conversion. Surely their struggles were not in vain. The afflictions that they passed through refined them to be an example and a light for countless others. What trials in our lives teach us and refine us to better prepare us to be instruments in the hands of God?

Suddenly, I was so grateful for the trials that I face on my mission and in my life. First, they teach me to turn to the Lord and to look for answers in his Word. Second, they prepare each of us for service to another of God's children.

Perhaps we will never be mighty missionaries like Ammon, a High Priest like Alma, a courageous captain like Moroni, or a steadfast and immovable king like Lamoni. But, we will each pass through the refiners fire that will prepare us for God's work. Whether the work we do impacts our small family sphere, or thousands of our brothers and sisters, it matters not. We can "show forth good examples unto them in [Him.]" I testify that God is with us. Our lives have been carefully planned and prepared. Each experience, each hurdle has been hand picked by the loving and all-knowing master. I love him, and strive daily to place unyielding trust in Him.

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