Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ether - Chapter 3

A couple of thoughts about this chapter:

First it appears that the Brother of Jared did his very best in creating the sixteen small stones.  At least I would if I were going to present them before the Lord.  Still, they didn't shine in the darkness, not even a little.  How often do we take on a project that we intend to present before the Lord.  Of often does our best effort also fall short of the intended result.  Might our efforts shine with brilliant light if we asked the Lord to put forth his finger and touch them.  Could this work in our marriage, or the lessons we teach at church, or in our relationships with our children?

An important part of this process as shown in the Jaredite account is intention.  The Lord asked the Brother of Jared to tell Him what he would have Him do to provide light.  Jared's brother then set out to create a solution.  Critical to the process for him and for us was the up front realization that God would be a necessary partner in the process.  It was never Mahonri Moriancumer's intention to single handedly create stones that would shine.  From the beginning of the process, he knew that his part, though challenging, was small and God's part was vital.  He set out knowing that success depended upon God and not any effort he might make.  Without God, all of our efforts are literally, just as inert as were those untouched stones.  The key here is that we start out with the intention of God's participation rather than seeking it when all else fails.  This is a huge difference, in fact I suspect it is all the difference.

The second notion that I got from the chapter this morning is that Mahonri was unworthy, by his own admission, when he approached the Lord with his request.  This is significant considering the outcome of his venture.  Clearly, after acknowledging his weakness and evil nature, he proceeded anyway to keep God's commandment to call upon Him that he might receive "according to (his) desires."  How often do we hesitate to call upon God with the intent that He make up the difference in our deficiencies?  Even in our unworthiness?  Or do we doubt God because we doubt ourselves.  When Jesus conquered all by completing the infinite atonement the sole purpose of that monumental effort was so that He could compensate for our deficiencies.  If we have to wait until we are no longer deficient we will never accomplish His will.  I think this is a most priceless lesson for me.  I am one who hesitates.  I hope I can be more like the Brother of Jared, in that I will undertake my life and it's projects, knowing from the beginning that success lies in the touch of the Master's hand.  Knowing that in my weakness, if I will but humbly petition Him in faith, there is not thing we, together, cannot accomplish for His glory and honor.

 25 And when the Lord had said these words, he showed unto the brother of Jared all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be; and he withheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth.
  26 For he had said unto him in times before, that if he would believe in him that he could show unto him all things—it should be shown unto him; therefore the Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things.
The commandment is to believe, not to be perfect.  We can't be perfect, but we can believe and if we don't we can desire to, repent of our unbelief and ultimately enjoy the blessing of the touch of His finger in all we do and also in all we are. 

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