Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

The End of a Thing

Ecclesiastes 6:5 - Songs of Solomon 3:1

First an item of housekeeping...

Many people have asked about reading the Songs of Solomon.  As you prepare to read you might want to take note of the footnote regarding the Joseph Smith Translation located under Solomon 1a.

Now, for the thoughts on today.

As I read todays reading there was one sentence that just jumped out:

"Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof..."

(Eccl. 7:8)

Have you ever found that to be true?  The end of a really good book, the last bite of a Snicker's candy bar, the final score of a game your team just won.  Those are the kind of endings I am talking about.  As I was thinking about good endings I realized we are almost at the end of the Old Testament...which is a remarkable thought.  Six weeks from the finish.  Less than 326 pages.

Amazing, isn't it?

And the ending promises to be better than the beginning for so many reasons."For could we have supposed when we started...that the Lord would have granted unto us such great blessings?  And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us?  Can ye tell?"  (Alma 26:1-2)

It doesn't take long for my mind to fill with blessings...

Gathering with my husband and children every night at 9:30 to read our seven pages together, listening at the end of the reading as everyone takes a turn to share their favorite verse.

Conversations with friends throughout the day as we talk about words on holy pages, applications that motivate our actions today, and what our hearts are learning.

Coming to admire scripture heroes I have heard of, but never really studied before...Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Gideon, Hannah, The Great Woman, Leah, Jehoshaphat, Macaiah, David, Mephibosheth, to name a few.  I have come to love these people,  to treasure their stories.

Starting out with a handful of people in Lehi, Utah, and making friends with people all over the world...Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nova Scotia, Canada...and people here in the United States...a 17-year-old from Orange County, California, a woman from Colorado, from Idaho, from Nevada.  Strangers brought together because of a unified goal.  A humble desire to know more of the Savior, more of His words.

These are just a few of the blessings.  I am sure you could name many more.

Thinking about the end of this part of our journey reminds me of the upcoming celebration.

The walk.

Because every great ending deserves a celebration...and so does every great beginning, really.

So on June 23, 2012 we will celebrate the end of the Old Testament and the Beginning of the New Testament with a 17 mile walk.  Many of you have put this celebration on your calendar.  Some plan to join with us here in Utah, others are planning to walk in their own area on that day.  Every Monday for the next six weeks this blog will have instructions that will help you as you prepare to join us in this celebration from wherever you are.

Here are the instructions for this week:

1.  For those who are planning to join us here in Utah, I need to know your last name and how many from your family will be coming.  This is an RSVP of sorts.  We are trying to determine the perfect location for this event, and the trail we would like to follow requires us to turn in the anticipated number of walkers who will be joining us.  On the bar located at the top of this blog is a menu bar.  Right in the middle of the bar you will see the word "contact."  If you click on that word you will be able to send me your RSVP email with the number of those who will be walking with you.  Come on your own, or bring your family if you would like.  We recommend walkers be ten and older.  The walk will be held on June 23, 2012.  We will begin at 7:00am.  We will finish up between noon and 1:00pm.

2.  If you are worried about walking 17 miles print out the training schedule. It is also located on the menu bar above, just click on "The Walk."  This simple training will help you prepare for the walk.  We will have two meeting points where you can join us if you are worried about all 17 miles.  One will be a 6 mile walk.  The last meeting place will be a 2 mile walk.

3.  If you are wondering what this walk is all about you can check out these blogs for a little more information:

Pausing Again.  

Turn Not Aside.

4.  Check back here every Monday for more information.

5.  If you are not walking, no need to worry...Monday's will always have a thought along with the instructions for the week.  You can just continue reading and following the same as you have since January.  And you will be able to participate in the celebration from home.

My heart is so excited for this celebration.

...for the ending that will be better than the beginning.

...for the beginning that will lead to another end.

Oh, we have much to look forward to this year.

We have been so richly blessed already.

And yet, there is more.

Emily Freeman