Saturday, September 20, 2008

Helaman 11 & 12 And thus we see...

Nineteen years before the coming of Christ, there is a long war going on, Nephi prays, " O Lord, do not suffer that this people shall be destroyed by the sword; but O Lord, rather let there be a famine in the land, to stir them up in remembrance of the Lord their God, and perhaps they will repent and turn unto thee. "

Let me start by saying that I know that the Lord didn't cause the big stock market melt down. This week has been "the worst since the depression" they say, with big financial market problems. The result of the failure of these large financial institutions has been widespread fear and panic on wall street. Perhaps, though, like the famine in Nephi's day, something good can come of it. It is so easy to trust in the arm of flesh, until that fails, and the only place to turn is to trust in the Lord.

Helaman 11:
17 And it came to pass that in the *seventy and sixth year the Lord did turn away his anger from the people, and caused that rain should fall upon the earth, insomuch that it did bring forth her fruit in the season of her fruit. And it came to pass that it did bring forth her grain in the season of her grain.

18 And behold, the people did rejoice and glorify God, and the whole face of the land was filled with rejoicing; and they did no more seek to destroy Nephi, but they did esteem him as a great prophet, and a man of God, having great power and authority given unto him from God.

And so the cycle continued, they repented, turned to the Lord, and they were delivered from their suffering. Their righteousness, however, was short lived. Nephi summs it up so well in the begining of chapter 12 with a classic, "and thus we see..."

1 And thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him.

2 Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.

3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.

This a typical cycle, but one that I am continually trying to AVIOD in my life. I know that I can be blessed in my life, and still remember the Lord.

I look back to how the country, in large, turned to God after 9/11. Maybe we can have some of that in these uncertain days as well.

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