Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

He Used the Scriptures

This afternoon my girls and I were talking about the root cellar that was hidden behind the door at the foot of the basement stairs in my mothers old home. When I was a young girl I was fascinated by this room.

In the midst of winter you could walk through the door and find yourself surrounded by the smell of the damp earth, fresh sand, and summer.

I spent many late afternoons running my small fingers through the clean, white sand as I dug up potatoes for dinner.

One afternoon my mom asked me to go get some potatoes.  I had been playing with letter magnets on the refrigerator with my sisters.  I ran downstairs with the magnet still in hand so no one would steal the letter I had.

I had to set the magnet down in the sand to search for the potatoes, and when I picked it up I noticed that a cluster of soft black fur had attached to the back.  I looked closely at the sand where the magnet had fallen, but I did not see any more of the fur there.  So I took the magnet, along with the potatoes for dinner, to my mother to see what I had discovered.

With research we learned that there were particles of iron scattered throughout the sand.

Drawn to the magnetic force, these particles clung to the magnet like fur.

Sometimes, when there was nothing to do, my sisters and I would go down to the root cellar like gold diggers with pie tins and all different sizes of magnets to see how much iron we could collect.  We would drag the magnets through layers of sand and pick up the tiny black fragments, so small that our naked eye would never have noticed them.

Years later I discovered a quote from the American preacher Henry Ward Beecher, "If one should give me a dish of sand, and tell me there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes, and search for them with my clumsy fingers, and be unable to detect them; but let me take a magnet and sweep through it, and it would draw to itself the almost invisible particles, by the mere power of attraction!  The unthankful heart, like my finger in the sand, discovers no mercies, but let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find in every hour some heavenly blessings; only the iron in God's sand is gold."

I love this thought of God's sand.

The knowing that there might be gold therein brings back the childhood longing to grab a pie tin and a magnet and go searching.

But the heart is required here.

After I found this quote I wondered where I might find God's sand.  A thought came clear to me, open your scriptures.

God's sand...and if I look carefully with a thankful heart, there are nuggets of gold to be discovered there.

I learned that last year as we read through the Standard Works.  I found gold I don't ever want to lose.  I long to find more of those precious nuggets.

In the new Come, Follow Me curriculum we learn what we must do to teach after the Savior's example, "He used the scriptures to teach and testify about His mission. He taught people to think about scriptures for themselves and use them to find answers to their own questions. Their hearts burned within them as He taught the word of God with power and authority, and they knew for themselves that the scriptures are true." (Teaching in the Savior's Way)

It is the thinking about the scriptures, using them to find answers to our questions that allows us and those we teach to discover the gold therein.

Then our hearts will burn within us.  Just like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who said, "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"  (Luke 24:32)

Perhaps we are on our own road to Emmaus.  Maybe our day is consumed with life's burden.

If we could just take a moment to open the scriptures.

Then He can talk to us.

In so doing, we will be led to discover His gold.