Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Tapped on the Shoulder

1 Nephi 1:1 - 1 Nephi 3:21

This morning we spoke of Winston Churchill.

I thought of a father, packing up family, leaving behind precious things, dwelling in a tent.  Does this tapping on the shoulder sometimes lead to wilderness places?

I pondered on a son whose prayer led to a softening of the heart.  Does this tapping on the shoulder lead to a belief that a way will be prepared before you?

Then my heart reflected on two brothers.

The words of my daughter last night as we read 1 Nephi, "Mom, what does it mean to murmur?"

"To complain."

"No, I want to know the exact definition.  What does it mean to murmur?"

"Complain, gripe, grumble... and then this... a recurring sound heard in the heart that is usually a sign of disease or damage."

A condition of the heart.

A sign.

I think again of two brothers who spoke hard words, who were angry about a father's foolish imaginations.  I can't help but consider their hearts.

...because I know they were tapped on the shoulder.

Prayers were offered in their behalf.  Angels visited.  Miracles were experienced.  But, for some reason, when they were tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do that special thing they did not accept the invitation.

Were they unprepared?

Were they unqualified?

We do not have to wonder.  The answer is found in 1 Nephi 2:12, "...they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them."

This verse parallels one found in John 15:21 when Jesus explains to the apostles why they would be persecuted for what they believed, "because they know not him that sent me."

Suddenly I realize how crucial it is to know God.  To know His dealings.

To remember what great things the Lord hath done.

To recognize the mercies.

Because then when we are tapped on the shoulder we will go, even if it means traveling through a wilderness and dwelling in a tent, because we know the Lord ––and this knowing will help us to understand that He will prepare a way.

This morning it was after the teaching was over that the real lesson was taught.

A beautiful girl with a thick braid falling gently over her shoulder closed her eyes, bowed her head, and said, "Please help us today, when we are tapped on the shoulder, to do the great thing Heavenly Father has in mind for us."

Please help us today.

When we are tapped on the shoulder today.

And I realized, it's as we wait for the tapping daily and then say "I will go" that we truly come to know the Lord.

In those moments we see His mercies and we experience His miracles as He prepares a way.

And then we know.

Emily Freeman