Stand as a Witness Doctrine & Covenants 14-17
It's interesting to contemplate what it must have been like to be one of the men chosen to stand as a witness to the gold plates. This week as I studied, it seemed like I had to work extra hard to figure out exactly what the message was for me.
I don't think I'm ever going to be called upon to witness gold plates, but surely we're all witnesses to something. But most of the time I hear people that bear witness or testify of things and it mostly makes me feel inadequate.
I tell myself all kinds of stories about it. Things like:
"My testimony is not as strong as hers."
"I can't speak like that, I sound like a dork if I try."
I could go on and on with the thoughts that run through my head, but I will spare you. Chances are probably pretty good that we've all felt that way at times.
How Can I Stand as a Witness?
So I kept studying and kept watching the the Lord to show me the lesson I needed this week. And finally I found it.
I was watching the video "A Day for the Eternities" and Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris were gathered together in prayer to request that they be shown the gold plates.
After a few minutes of nothing happening, Martin excuses himself, saying he is sure he is the reason they are not being allowed the privilege of witnessing the plates.
I realized in that moment that I am Martin Harris.
How many times have I made mistakes? Probably easily at least a million. Some of them were honest mistakes, but I will admit that many of them were just flat-out poor choices on my part. Some were silly and small and some were big and daunting.
And after making those mistakes, I try to repent on a regular basis. Sometimes that repentance has taken a little more effort than other times, but I try to stay on top of it.
Martin had made a huge mistake, and he knew it. But he'd also repented and tried to make things right. He'd offered up his money and his support and done what he could to help the work progress.
But as he was there with the others, he had not forgiven himself. Still replaying his past transgressions, he was sure he was still being held accountable for them.
And this is how I am just like him.
The Lord has Forgiven Me
I dredge up past mistakes and beat myself over the head with them. Not all the time, but enough to keep my own spiritual progression at bay. I'm sure there have been times I have blocked the voice of the Spirit from reaching me while I am allowing the adversary free reign over my thoughts.
"The Lord has forgiven us. Let us rejoice in being a part of His work."
Those are the words that Joseph Smith tells Martin Harris in an effort to get him to let go of his past mistake. Wise words, and I need to remember them.
Be Ready to Stand as a Witness
While I may never be called on to stand as a witness for something like gold plates, the truth is, I have opportunities every day to be a witness to the things I know are true.
An email I got earlier this week has this quote in it, and it's been on my mind for days:
God can't steer a parked car.
I really know this to be true, especially as I have improved my scripture study the last couple of years and felt His hand guiding me down the path He wants me to take.
I hope that your scripture study has been doing the same for you. All it takes is the effort to get rolling and the Lord will direct your path.
Have a great week of study and be sure to download the Challenge Cards over in FREE STUFF. Links for the activities are below!
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