Monday, November 17, 2008

You Know Enough

Today is more lesson prep for me-
You Know
Elder Neil L. Andersen Of the Presidency of the Seventy

He shares this personal experience:

Nearly 40 years ago as I contemplated the challenge of a mission, I felt
very inadequate and unprepared. I remember praying, “Heavenly Father, how
can I
serve a mission when I know so little?” I believed in the Church, but
I felt my
spiritual knowledge was very limited. As I prayed, the feeling
came: “You don’t
know everything, but you know enough!” That reassurance
gave me the courage to
take the next step into the mission

We then remain steady and patient as we progress through
mortality. At
times, the Lord’s answer will be, “You don’t know everything,
but you know
enough”—enough to keep the commandments and to do what is
right. Remember Nephi’s words: “I know that
he loveth his
nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.”2

Has there been a time in your life when you felt inadequate, or like you didn't know enough ? I certainly felt that way when I had my first baby!

He goes on to tell of an experience that he had when visiting some missionaries- one missionary there wanted to go home early...

We sat together in the mission president’s home. The missionary told me
about his challenging childhood, of learning disorders, of moving from one
family to another. He spoke sincerely of his inability to learn a new
and adapt to a new culture. Then he added, “Brother Andersen, I
don’t even know
if God loves me.” As he said those words, I felt a sure and
forceful feeling
come into my spirit: “He does know I love him. He knows
I let him
continue for a few more minutes, and then I said, “Elder,
I’m sympathetic to
much of what you’ve
said, but I must correct you on
one thing: you do know God loves you. You know
He does.”
As I said those
words to him, the same Spirit that had spoken to
me spoke to him. He bowed
his head and began to cry. He apologized. “Brother
Andersen,” he said, “I do
know God loves me; I do know it.” He didn’t know everything, but
he knew
enough. He knew God loved him. That priceless piece of spiritual
was sufficient for his doubt to be replaced with faith. He found the
strength to stay on his mission.
Brothers and sisters, we each have
of spiritual power, moments of inspiration and revelation. We must
sink them
deep into the chambers of our souls. As we do, we prepare our
spiritual home
storage for moments of personal difficulty. Jesus said,
“Settle this in your
hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach,
and command you.”3

I was trying to think of some scriptural examples of feelings of inadequacy. I thought of Jonah. Jonah was given an assignment from the Lord. He is to go to Nineveh to call repentance unto the people. Instead- he tries in vain to run away from God.

What are some ways that we might try to "run away from God?" I think we do this every time we ignore a prompting, or don't follow it.

Jonah felt as if the assignment given to him was too great- beyond his abilities, more than he wanted to take on- WAY out of his comfort zone.- Sooooo- he causes a great tempest, the ship he is on is in danger of going down, he tells the people to throw him over board- (he was probably expecting death- which might have been easier than going to Nineveh, in his mind.)- Of course we know that he was swallowed by a whale, and was there for three days and three nights. Yucky...

And so he was humbled. He had to go through a horribly humbling experience to bring him to the point where he was searching for the Lord instead of running from the Lord. Do we ever do this? Do we make the mistake of running away from God- only to be compelled to humility through hard times? I think that some "hard times" are avoidable. I think that sometimes they come our way, as they did for Jonah, because we ran away from the Lord, when we were supposed to follow him. And, as we learn from Jonah, no matter how "hard" it may seem to do what the Lord wants us to do- it is harder not to. And of course, it is always the case that when we are following God, we have His help- so sure- the assignment may very well be beyond our capabilities alone- but- we are not alone.

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