Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Higher

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General Conference

One of the most memorable moments of General Conference for me was the moment when Sister Elaine S. Dalton talked about the scripture written under the pulpit.

Her husband was the contractor in charge of laying the carpet in the Conference Center the week before the first General Conference in that building would be held.  He was about to lay the last piece of carpet ––under the historic pulpit.  Brother Dalton called Sister Dalton and asked, "What scripture should I write on the back of this carpet?"

She replied, "Mosiah 18:9...Stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places."

At the time she had no idea that she would be called as the Young Women's President of the Church, or that she would stand at that very pulpit and teach the Young Women of the Church what it meant to Stand as a Witness.

In that moment she simply shared with her husband a scripture that had meaning.

...with no idea for the meaning it would have in a future moment in her life.

Her talk left me wondering three things:

1.  Are there scriptures that I love in my life right now that might play an important role in my life in the future?

2.  Am I immersed in my scriptures enough right now to be able to find those scriptures?

3.  Has that experience ever happened to me?

I have spent this whole week thinking about those three questions.  Then, on Saturday I discovered a partial answer to question number three.

In November I began a study of a scripture found in Isaiah 55:8-9.  It reads, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  It is the theme scripture for TOFW this year, a conference for which I am a speaker.

Because of that, for the last few months my focus has been directed toward what it means to live higher, to think higher, and to believe higher.

I have tried to experience reaching moments that would allow me to understand this lesson.

On Saturday I read the verses just following the two verses I have been studying.  They read, "For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and turneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it." (Isaiah 55:10-11)

I couldn't help but remember our experience on Wednesday as we dropped Garett off to the MTC.  (See more about that here.)

I pictured Heaven's rain, that watereth the earth, bringing forth buds.  I know we saw that happen in Garett's life as he was preparing for this mission.

I watched the Lord's promises for Garett unfold before my eyes...and I knew what it meant when the Lord said, "it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

For just a moment I all of the sudden knew exactly what the Lord meant when He said, "My thoughts are not your thoughts."

His thoughts are higher.  His ways are higher.

Far better than anything I could anticipate or think on my own.

My heart filled with joy as I realized exactly what that scripture I have been studying since November meant in this moment of my life.

And then I read the next verse:

"For ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree." (Isaiah 55:12-13)

And I thought of a young boy whose life has been filled with thorns.

A boy who went out on Wednesday with joy, and who will be led forth with peace.

By a Father whose thoughts are higher.

Deliberate Discipleship:

How would you answer these three questions?

1.  Are there scriptures that I love in my life right now that might play an important role in my life in the future?

2.  Am I immersed in my scriptures enough right now to be able to find those scriptures?

3.  Has that experience ever happened to me?