Let All These Take Their Journey
One question I get asked all of the time is how I do my scripture study.
That answer has varied according to my stage of life.
When my children were very young I used to leave my scriptures open on a counter in my home. Then, when there was a pause in the day (and you just never knew when that pause would come) I would hover over my open scriptures and read. Sometimes the pause only allowed time for one verse. But I found that any time in the scriptures gave me an increase in the Spirit for the day.
Sometimes my reading has been governed by a schedule. Last year we read the whole Standard Works...seven pages a day (see schedule in the bar above.) Sometimes I read the Book of Mormon that way.
Often I will find myself intrigued by a gospel topic or story. I can spend days and sometimes even weeks pouring over the subject.
However, the one part of my scripture study that has been consistent throughout my life is that each week I try to read the lessons from the Gospel Doctrine student manual. The course of study we focus on each year gives me a schedule to follow. A weekly scripture course.
It never ceases to amaze me that the scriptures from the lesson each week seem to find application in my life.
That is one of the blessings of scripture study. It is a gift described in Hebrews 4:12, "The word of God...is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
I love how the scriptures can influence our thoughts and intents...how they weave themselves through our life, sending answers, direction, comfort and guidance.
This week was no different.
Chapter 12 speaks of the gathering. It is filled with the imagery of missionary work.
"Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst." (D&C 29:5)
"The field is white already...and it is the eleventh hour, and the last time that I shall call laborers into my vineyard." (D&C 33:3)
"The enemy in the secret chambers seeketh your lives...but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." (D&C 38:28-30)
"I have a great work laid up in store...I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand." (D&C 38:33)
"I give unto you a commandment, that every man...and also member, go to with his might..." (D&C 38:40)
"I the Lord will make known unto you what I will that ye shall do...and inasmuch as they are faithful unto me, it shall be made known unto them what they shall do...I will give unto you a pattern..." (D&C 52:2, 4, 14)
"And the days have come; according to men's faith it shall be done unto them" (D&C 52:20)
"Yea, verily I say, let all these take their journey unto one place, in their several courses, and one man shall not build upon another's foundation, neither journey in another's track." (D&C 52:33)
I don't know about you, but I see the hastening of the Lord's work all around me. There is evidence of it everywhere.
I see young men and young women preparing to serve. Taking their journey. In their several courses.
They don't build upon another's foundation.
They are not journeying in another's track.
The course they pursue is their own, designed by the Lord, as they gather His people.
I think of my oldest son teaching at the MTC, preparing those who are about to journey.
I consider my second son, who calls himself Elder Freeman the Younger, he is currently serving in Atlanta Georgia.
My days are consumed with the readying of our third missionary who will leave on April 10. His journey has been different then the other two. It has required a change of course, a second chance, a reliance on the atonement of Jesus Christ. We have watched a testimony emerge from a heart that is ready to serve. It has been miraculous. His journey. His own foundation. His own track.
Just next door is a boy whose prayer for his visa to Peru to arrive has been continual for the past two weeks. He is supposed to leave next Wednesday. We wonder where his track will lead.
And next door to him is a boy who will leave for Japan in July.
The boy one street over came home because of an injury, but is working daily for the strength he will need to return. His own track...his own foundation.
I see the gathering. The preparing to labor with all their might.
I feel the hastening.
As I read the lesson this week I am so grateful for the images that fill my mind and weave themselves through my thoughts.
Let all these take their journey.
I pray for the teacher whose job it is to prepare, and the boy who serves in Georgia, and the one about to leave for Colorado Springs. I pray for the Visa to arrive, and the one who is getting ready, and the one who wants to return.
"I have a great work laid up in store... I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand." (D&C 38:33)
Can you sense the gathering? Do you feel the hastening? Is there a missionary who you could serve today? Send a letter of encouragement. Remember them in your prayers. Feel a part of the gathering.