Saturday, November 17, 2012

Can ye feel so now?

Can you imagine what it must have been like for those Nephites of ancient America to listen and learn from the Savior himself.  In 3rd Nephi 17 verse 10 we get this glimpse of what it might have been like to sing that song of reedeming love.
 "And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears."
I have found myself in moments of deep despair that Christ does heal, and I have felt the overwhelming desire to be with him forever.  With that desire always comes an immediate yearning to give up all for him and dedicate myself to him.  Then weeks later, even days later as mortal life takes it toll on me, I wonder where that feeling has escaped to.
Elder Quentin Cook said in his most recent conference adress,
 "It is not surprising that some in the Church believe they can’t answer Alma’s question with a resounding yes. They do not “feel so now.” They feel they are in a spiritual drought. Others are angry, hurt, or disillusioned. If these descriptions apply to you, it is important to evaluate why you cannot “feel so now.”
 As I have evaluated myself to discover why those "redeeming love" moments don't always stay forever, I have found that Spencer W. Kimball's statement rings true every time.

          “I find that when I get casual in my relationships with Divinity and when it seems that no Divine ear is listening and no Divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns.  I find myself loving more intensely those whom I must love with all my heart and mind and strength, and loving them more” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 135).
I have discovered that when I don't "feel so now" it isn't becasue God has left me on own to learn for myself, it is because I have left him alone because I thought I had learned for myself.  I am the one who has wandered far, far away. 
This is more than a sermon about a eternal realtionship with Divinity, it is about divine relationships becoming eternal.  I love how President Kimball mentions that as the scriptures allow the proximity of heaven to return, there also comes a love for those whose proximity is always close. 
Isn't it amazing at what the scriptures can do?
Elder Cook emphasizes this is his talk
"Immersion in the scriptures is essential for spiritual nourishment.8 The word of God inspires commitment and acts as a healing balm for hurt feelings, anger, or disillusionment.9 When our commitment is diminished for any reason, part of the solution is repentance.10 Commitment and repentance are closely intertwined."

When I think of immersion, I think of Oreo cookies in milk, you know the whole dip versus dunk dilemma that goes on when you find yourself in front of a tall glass of ice cold milk with a package of Oreos at your side?  Dipping is great right?  You don't get your fingers wet and you enjoy half a soggy Oreo.  Or you could go dunk style, you know...immersion...the kind where you get thumb and finger wet, but an entire cookie gets soaked to the frosting and the goodness is...well...maybe I've gone too far. 
The point is this.  You want the best of spiritual nourishment, you have to get your fingers wet.  It amazes me, when I ask out loud to Heavenly Father why I am not singing the "song of reedeming love" and immediatly my thoughts are reflective on my scripture study.  What is it about these dang scriptures that everyone keeps hounding us about?
I don't have all the answers, not do I profess to be able to unfold hte mysteries and truthfulness of why they are so amazing.  All I can say is this.  When I immerse myself in them and follow that sweet commandment to study them, my life changes.  I feel a stronger love for those around me.  I feel closer to God.
There will be times in your life when everything around will fail.  You will wonder why God has allowed this to happen to you.  You will question why he doesn't send blessing down, and wonder if the commandments you have kept for so long are helping you out at all.  You will wonder why you tried so hard, to be so good, when everything around you is telling you it doesn't matter.  I can testify to you that when those moments come, it is the scriptures that will save you.  When there is no where else to turn, those doctrines of Christ found in the scriptures will give you hope.  The promises of ancient prophets will give you faith in your Heavenly Father.  I can testify of these things, because I have been there.  I have questioned God's promises in the darkest hours of my life, and the hope is returned to my life as I open the scriptures and feel his love.  It's more than stories and verses, it's an incredible journey (however slow it may be) to see God for who he really is.  He lives and loves us so much that he gave us Jesus Christ as our Redeemer.  This is my song of reedeming love today, that Christ's love reedems me, and I testify that he lives and is aware of all of us.

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