Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ether - Chapter 7

All my life I thought this was a nice story.  It was not until a likened the scripture to myself that I made an enormous discovery.  At least it was so for me.  As I imagined myself climbing into one of the barges I suddenly realized a few things:
  • There's a year's supply of food in here!  How long is this journey going to take?
  • There aren't any lifeboats!
  • There isn't a helm or rudder with which to steer or change course!
  • There are no sails or paddles or other means of propulsion!
  • There will be no way to tell where we are or to know where we're going!
  • Loved ones are in other barges.  Will we all arrive together - in the same place?
  • There are cows and pigs and bees in here!
  • Feel free to add to the list....
I was compelled to ask myself if I was going to be willing to actually get in, close the door and trust that God would do as He told uncle Mahonri.

I was comforted to consider that there were impossibly glowing lights faithfully shining in each of the barges.  A little shudder made me wonder if they'd hold out for the duration.  I considered sea sickness, sewage from man and beast, the weariness of being tossed about on the sea.  I weighed that against the goodness of God and His promise of a Promised Land.  I looked at the beach we'd called home for five or so years, with its fresh food and air and comfortable surroundings.  I considered again the futility of doing things our way back at Babel.  I spent time on my knees seeking faith, assurance and confirmation of my testimony.  And, I imagined myself stepping on in and closing the door.
4 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. 
I think it is significant that this story is so closely tied to that of the Tower of Babel.  If we are willing to consider that Heaven and the Promised Land represent essentially the same thing we can see that God confounded their efforts to go there on their own terms.  His terms required some effort, but also a good deal of trust, faith and in the end willingness, to let God do the delivering.  It is just as the plan was intended.

It is no different than accepting the Plan of Salvation in the first place.  We were then, willing to climb aboard a vessel we had no control over.  We would be going for a ride fraught with affliction, tedium, peril and uncertainty.  We had the faith to climb aboard then, are we willing to stay aboard rather than abandoning ship and sinking to certain death?  I hope we are.  I hope I am. If we do the destination is sure.

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