Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

A Waters of Mormon Experience

Mosiah 18:15 - Mosiah 21:30

Sometimes life requires us to make a choice.

Either we can remain in the place where we are, or we can become something more.  Sometimes the choice is made in quiet moments.  Other times the choice requires great courage.

I am reminded of Alma who, after listening to the testimony of Abinidi, experienced a change of heart.  After pleading with the king to save Abinidi, Alma fled for his life.

In that instant everything changed.

He had come to know the Lord, and through that personal experience he came to understand that he was meant for more.  That knowledge led to a journey that changed the course of his life.

After Alma left the King he began to teach privately among the people.  “And as many as would hear his word he did teach.”  (Mosiah 18:3)  Those who believed his words followed the same path as he had ––they too came to know the Lord.

The scriptures teach us that “all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer…”  (Mosiah 18:30)

It seems that this place called Mormon within the forest of Mormon near the waters of Mormon must have been a breathtaking place.

But it wasn’t the scenery that made it so beautiful to the people; it was the fact that it was in that place they had come to know the Lord, their Redeemer.

As I have studied the life of many Disciples of Christ I have found that this experience is not unique.  Each disciple had a Waters of Mormon experience ––an experience during which he came to know the Lord.

In that moment each disciple allowed the Lord to change His heart, to make him more.

A man on the road to Damascus, a young boy in the Sacred Grove, a silent listener in Noah’s Court, a lame man at the Pool of Bethesda, three witnesses surrounded by fire, the list goes on and on.

This lesson leads me to wonder, what are the Waters of Mormon experiences in my own life?

The beautiful places where I have come to know my Redeemer ––where I have let Him take me by the hand and allowed Him to make me more than I could have ever become on my own.  Glimpses come to mind ––a hospital room at the University of Utah, kneeling beside my bed in the darkest hours of the night, walking down a tulip lined sidewalk in March.  These are moments I will never forget, because they are mile markers on my own journey toward discipleship.  They are sacred to me, because they are the places where I have come to know my Redeemer.  Defining moments when He helped me to become more than I would have ever become on my own.

Sometimes we have to make a conscious choice to watch for these Waters of Mormon experiences.  Like the silent listener in King Noah’s court, often that choice includes sacrifice.  For some it might be time.  For others it might be pride.  Perhaps we are too afraid to hope.  Maybe our priorities will have to be adjusted.

There is one thing I am confident of, when our desire to know the Lord becomes the priority of our life, the most important things will not pass us by.

Often the greatest sacrifice leads to the greatest understanding.

Interestingly the sacrifices made along this road seem to pave the pathway toward obtaining more, not less ––more opportunities to know the Lord, more opportunities to experience His love, and more opportunities to become His disciple.

Where are the places you have come to know your Redeemer?

What have you done to prepare your heart to recognize your own Waters of Mormon experiences?

What could you do more?

 

Emily Freeman