Be Still and Know That I Am God Doctrine & Covenants 98-101
When it comes to dealing with adversity, the counsel to be still and know that God is still there can be hard to remember at times. As I was reading this week's lesson, I thought a lot about what it might have been like to have been present in Jackson County, or even in Kirtland, while the persecution was raging.
An interesting thing to realize as you read these parts of church history is that these mobs that were doing the persecuting were, many times, not strangers. These were their neighbors, some of whom they had probably done business with at one time. In some cases, like in Kirtland, these were former members of the church--people that at one time had called the people they were now persecuting "brother".
And that is how I came to understand the importance of these revelations for me, right now. As I read, there were so many ways that I could relate the words that were given to Joseph Smith to my own life.
Not only do they teach me about adversity, but they also teach me about contention. And lately I've been feeling a lot of both.
A Lesson I Learned for Edward Partridge
I admit that I have never really known much about Edward Partridge, but I am feeling like I'd like to learn more. I have heard his name often enough through the study of the Doctrine and Covenants, but I have never really known a great deal about him until I listened to the Follow Him podcast that goes with this week's lesson.
As the mob takes him from his home, preparing to "commence the destruction", he sets a remarkable example for me with his words, which he wrote later:
...I knew not what they intended to do with me, whether to kill me, to whip me, or what else I knew not. I bore my abuse with so much resignation and meekness that it appeared to astound the multitude, who permitted me to retire in silence, many looking very solemn, their sympathies having been touched as I thought. And as to myself, I was so filled with the Spirit and love of God that I had no hatred towards my persecutors or anyone else.
Imagine facing that situation, unsure what is going to happen to you, and you have the ability to BE STILL and BE FILLED with the Spirit of God so much so, that you can bear whatever is about to befall you with complete peace.
I would hope that I would be able to do that. But in a world where people get inflamed over Facebook posts that don't agree with their opinion and rather than scrolling past they choose to mentally beat someone up, that seems like it's getting harder and harder to do.
And to make it worse, it isn't necessarily the strangers that are the problem. It's neighbors, friends, and even family members.
It is well known that President Nelson has always told us that there is no room for contention, ever. I love that about him! I know that when contentious feelings show up, the Spirit leaves.
In his talk, Blessed Are the Peacemakers, he states:
Now, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what does the Lord expect of us? As a Church, we must “renounce war and proclaim peace.” As individuals, we should “follow after the things which make for peace.” We should be personal peacemakers. We should live peacefully—as couples, families, and neighbors.
I know that I need to follow the examples of both Edward Partridge and President Nelson, and remember to be still, and remember that Heavenly Father is always there, and always in charge. And with Him, I can do anything.
Challenge Cards and Lesson Help Links
As always, you can find the Challenge Cards for this week's lesson over in FREE STUFF! When you're ready for that day's activity, be sure to come back to this blog post for an easy link to the activity!
The Saints Leave Jackson County Missouri
Faith Murray's Story: Overcoming Adversity Through Service
If God Loved Me He Wouldn't Let This Happen
The Ministry of Reconciliation
Hard Questions in Church History: Expulsion From Jackson County
Advise on Sorrow from Jesus Christ