Sunday, April 7, 2019

Some Challenging Directions from the Lord to the Brother of Jared

And it came to pass that the Lord commanded them that they should go forth into the wilderness, yea, into that quarter where there never had man been. And it came to pass that the Lord did go before them, and did talk with them as he stood in a cloud, and gave directions whither they should travel. (Ether 2:5)

It is interesting that the Lord directed the brother of Jared to take the people into an area where man had never gone before. Now, people are pretty adventurous, so when there’s a place no one has gone before, it is usually because the route looks really forbidding and desolate. So it might have looked like there was a really good reason no one had gone that way.

But if the Lord wanted them to take that route, it was because He knew more about it than man did, that He saw it had the resources to supply their needs even if it didn’t appear to.  (And if it didn’t, He could provide by miracle and build their faith.)  It would take faith to follow the Lord’s directions, trust that it would be alright when appearances were against it.

Not everyone has the faith to do this kind of thing. In Numbers 20:1-8, the children of Israel were led to the desert of Zin where there was no water, and they gathered against Moses to complain, wishing they had died before then and wondering why they had been led there. A miracle brought them water, but even if they hadn’t complained, they would have needed the miracle anyway.  But it would have been better for them if they could have refrained from complaining at all and simply recognized their need for a miracle.

So, lesson #1 – The Lord may lead us in ways that don’t look very possible, and it takes faith to follow.
Lesson #2 – The Lord wants us to learn to depend on Him, so He will bring us by ways that require us to do that.
Lesson #3 – The Lord brings us to places where miracles are required so that we can experience what He is capable of doing. But these places also require a lot of faith from us too.
Lesson #4 – It is best not to murmur when we are stuck and simply realize we need miracles and ask for them.