Monday, September 29, 2008

3 Nephi 4 Faith and Doubt

The first Sunday of every month, at BYU, the students get together and go to the Marriott Center for the CES fireside. Boys love to ask girls to go, as it is the least expensive date on campus. With that said, I rarely seemed to be asked, but all of my gorgeous roommates were asked every time, leaving me looking for someone to walk there with. (I was fine going by myself, but then my roommates would feel bad for me, and insist that I go with them and their date- I was pathetic, I know) (I think I am still a little bitter:) This time, however, I did have a date. We were going to see President Hunter speak. Facing the speaker, we were sitting on the left side, about 2/3 of the way up. The fireside began like usual. The choir sang, the benediction was given, the speaker was introduced. Not long after President Hunter stood up to speak, a psycho in a white suit stormed the stage area, and, carrying a suitcase that he said contained a bomb, tried to get the prophet to read a letter, saying that he (the psycho) was going to lead the church. It was so bizzar. I remember when he first stood up, and threatened those in the fireside with the bomb, it was really scary. It wasn't until someone in the audience started singing, "We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet"- that everything changed. We all started singing, and the entire atmosphere in the Marriott center changed. The man, (Cody Judy) still had the briefcase, but he had lost his power, because we had lost our fear- it was replaced with faith.

3 Nephi 4:7 And it came to pass that they (the Gadianton Robbers) did come up to battle; and it was in the sixth month; and behold, great and terrible was the day that they did come up to battle; and they were girded about after the manner of robbers; and they had a lamb-skin about their loins, and they were dyed in blood, and their heads were shorn, and they had head-plates upon them; and great and terrible was the appearance of the armies of Giddianhi, because of their armor, and because of their being dyed in blood.

Sometimes the challenges before me are scary. They can seem daunting, even impossible to overcome. I get the feeling that such was the case with the Gadianton Robbers and their blood-dyed loin cloths. Whenever great challenges come before me, the great question is how will I respond, with fear or faith in Christ?
Peter started walking on water, before some doubt crept in: Matt. 14: 31

31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
The Stripling Warriors were miraculously preserved, as they exercised their faith, doubting not. Alma 56:48 We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Here is the Nephite's response to the Gadianton Robbers:

8 And it came to pass that the armies of the Nephites, when they saw the appearance of the army of Giddianhi, had all fallen to the earth, (they fell to the earth- but not with fear, but rather as a way to put their faith in God- through prayer, for their deliverance.) and did lift their cries to the Lord their God, that he would spare them and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.

And so it was- they overcame and were preserved- here is their conclusion:

31 And it came to pass that they did break forth, all as one, in singing, and praising their God for the great thing which he had done for them, in preserving them from falling into the hands of their enemies.

32 Yea, they did cry: Hosanna to the Most High God. And they did cry: Blessed be the name of the Lord God Almighty, the Most High God.

33 And their hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears, because of the great goodness of God in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; and they knew it was because of their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from an everlasting destruction.

What a great example- they replaced fear with faith, and when they prevailed, they knew the source of their success, and gave credit and thanks to God.

I like this quote from Joseph Smith:

“But those who have not made this sacrifice to God do not know that the course which they pursue is well pleasing in his sight; for whatever may be their belief or their opinion, it is a matter of doubt and uncertainty in their mind; and where doubt and uncertainty are there faith is not, nor can it be. For doubt and faith do not exist in the same person at the same time; so that persons whose minds are under doubts and fears cannot have unshaken confidence; and where unshaken confidence is not there faith is weak; and where faith is weak the persons will not be able to contend against all opposition, tribulations, and afflictions which they will have to encounter in order to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ Jesus; and they will grow weary in their minds, and the adversary will have power over them and destroy them.” (Lectures on Faith, 1891 ed., 6:2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12.)

Back to the Marriott center- A man in the front row sprayed Cody Judy with pepper spray, and the bodyguards and some audience members overtook him. All it took was a song- and fear was replaced with faith. Sometimes, in my life, it doesn't seem quite so easy, but knowing that doubt and faith cannot exist in the same person at the same time, lets me know that I can overcome my doubts and fears, through exercising my faith.


The big wining costume at the Halloween party I attended the following year was a "Cody Judy" look alike.

I found Cody Judy in Wikipedia, and found out that in 2002 he ran for the House of Representatives and received 8 votes.

In 2004 he ran for Senate and received 16 votes.

In googling his name I saw a yahoo video saying that he was running for president in 2008.


Michal said...

i was there! i remember cody judy! my roommates and i (without dates) went a couple of hours early to get seats down on the floor, so we were very close to the entire thing. it was such an amazing experience to sing that hymn together with the other 20,000 plus people there, while cody judy stood there sputtering, disarmed. i really felt the power of god in that arena that night.

i can't believe that he has run for office! that man has a hankering for power, i guess.

Christine said...

YES- if he couldn't be the ruler of the church, his second choice is ruler of the country.

Michal said...

i know that i already commented here, but i came back to this post today because it was what i really needed to hear and remember. faith, not fear. thanks.