Worth the Riches of the Whole Earth D&C 67-70
I remember in my younger years (like, Seminary age) I kind of used to dread the year of studying the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history. I think I've mentioned that before, but I think about it often and how much my perspective has changed as I've gotten older. Not only do I love and respect the history of the church now, but I have grown to love ALL of history and the wonderful things we can learn from it.
Last week, my Stake held our Stake Conference, and the Area Seventy spoke. His talk was terrific, and I wish I had a recording of it that I could share.
He spoke specifically about the Doctrine and Covenants, and about Joseph Smith, and he made a lot of good points. One of them was that when Joseph went to retrieve the gold plates, there wasn't a manual there called "How to Restore a Church". He had questions, and he had to learn what he was doing one small step at a time. And he made a lot of mistakes, which he readily admitted. And it even states right in the scriptures that he had sinned and needed to repent, which he did.
I Stand with Joseph
And he ended his talk by saying, "I stand with Joseph." This was a powerful statement to me. As I was reading Section 67, I knew the the Lord always stood by Joseph, too. It was a powerful testimony building moment for me.
Now, as we read these sections this week we start to see trouble building for the saints. Not only do they have contentions among themselves, but their press is destroyed and they are starting to have issues with those outside the church.
As I went through these sections this week doing my study, I didn't realize it until I went back to review, but I had created my own theme. It was clear what the message was meant to be for me this week.
Do Not Fear!
There were two verses that stood out to me this week:
Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you, but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive. (D&C 67: 3)
Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you, and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come. (D&C 68:6)
I'm pretty sure the Lord is telling me to stop being so afraid. And maybe afraid isn't the right word, and worried might be better. We are definitely living in a different world than we were living in a few years ago, and there are days when I have to admit, my heart fails me a little bit.
We know that life isn't going to be easy, but sometimes when things are tough it's hard to remember the good in the world and remain cheerful. And that first verse made me wonder if there were blessings that I've missed out on while I sat in a corner wringing my hands about things.
Be of Good Cheer!
I think it's why President Nelson's gratitude challenge from last fall was so good for me. It made me stop and think about all the ways my life has been blessed during the past year. To be honest, I have absolutely no reason to complain, or to be afraid.
One of the videos I added to the Challenge Cards this week is called "Hard Questions in Church History". It's a little longer than the videos I usually watch, but it was a great history lesson that really talked about what was going on during the time these revelations were given.
One of the things that Sister Wilson says in the video that has been running through my head since I watched it, is her quoting Peter, who said, "We are perfected in the things that we suffer."
Difficult times create strong, valiant people.
I know that looking back on the challenges I've faced in the past, while I haven't loved going through them, they have made me stronger. That right there is a reason to be grateful.
So the challenge I have for myself this week is to "be of good cheer". I hope it can last longer than a week, but for now I'm going to take it one step at a time.
Challenge Cards and Lesson Helps
You may notice that there are more than 12 links below, and that's because I just kept finding more and more study helps that I loved! So I added my favorites to the cards, and dropped the links to the others in the list below so you can find them too!
Have a great week of scripture study!