Friday, October 21, 2011

Forging Friendships

"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high."

Elder Richard G. Scott, CR October 2011

What does a 'packet of light' look like?  I love the way Elder Scott describes the scriptures.  Certainly there have been those moments in my life when literally the scriptures have illuminated my mind and given place to inspiration.  How grateful I am for the scriptures in my life.  They have truly been a guidance from on high for me.
I remember before I left for the mission field a good friend told me something I will never forget.  He said this, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, and in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths."  I loved it so much I put it on my missionary plaque.  I remember being nervous and excited as I left for Brasil knowing that 22 more months lay ahead in unfamiliar territory with unfamiliar faces.  
I wasn't that great at learning Portuguese and like most missionaries I wondered if what I had learned in the MTC would do me any good.  I remember praying so hard that I could understand the language and not have to think so hard about talking.  If I really could "open my mouth" and would be filled, I couldn't let my mind and tongue get in the way.  I studied hard and prayed even harder.  I remembered my friend's advice to 'Trust in the Lord with all my heart'.  I tried my best to trust and acknowledge him every day.  After about 2 months I thought I was pretty good.  I still relied on my companions a lot.  It wasn't until I was out about 4 months and went on a split with Elder Bowman that I finally realized what had happened.  I remember coming home that night.  I had been the senior companion, (Elder Bowman had been out 2 months less than I had) and had led the discussions in most of the homes.  As I sat down and planned for the next day, it hit me.  I had not even thought about Portuguese at all the entire day.  I had spoken it without even thinking!  This was the moment I had waited for.  The Lord truly had directed my paths.  I was so grateful for the advice of that great friend.  Who is that friend?  One day I hope to thank him for what he taught me.  I still see that missionary plaque everyday I go into work. 
Who was the friend who pulled me through the tough times?  His name is Solomon, son of David, king of Israel.  You see, I think Elder Scott was right when he said this,
"The scriptures provide the strength of authority to our declarations when they are cited correctly. They can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar. They are always available when needed. Their use provides a foundation of truth that can be awakened by the Holy Ghost. Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change...
A memorized scripture becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time."

I absolutely love this!  The scriptures have been exactly that for me in times of need.  There have been many late nights or early mornings where the scriptures literally have brought me to my knees thanking my Heavenly Father for sending such unique powerful scriptures to my life at the time I have needed it the most.  

What's even neater is right after Elder Scott, talks about enduring friendships with the scriptures, he quotes my favorite scripture!  I will forever be grateful for the feelings I have had as I have read the scriptures.  I know that there is power in those precious pages.  Lives were taken so we could have what we have today.  My challenge to you?  Find a scripture, memorize it, then share it!

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