Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

The Holder of the Bow

Jeremiah 49:37 - Jeremiah 52:16

I love the call to action found in chapter 51 of Jeremiah.

"The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: Set up the standard... Make the watch strong..."

Jeremiah 51:10-12

It is not hard to visualize the preparation taking place for the battle at hand.

The gathering of the shields.

The setting up of the standards along the walls.

The strengthening of the watch towers, the sending up of the watchmen.

But it was the line about making the arrows bright that caught my attention.  It made me think that just gathering the arrows was not enough, there was work to be done in making sure the arrows were ready for the battle.  They had to be made bright.

Perhaps it was the responsibility of the holder of the bow to make sure his arrows were prepared.

In trying to research more about the process, I stumbled upon a quote from Elder Jeffery R. Holland.  Suddenly the lesson turned from physical arrows used in warfare, to spiritual arrows and the battles that rage in the hearts of men today.

"...we anxiously watch that arrow in flight and know all the evils that can deflect its course after it has left our hand, nevertheless we take courage in remembering that the most important mortal factor in determining that arrow’s destination will be the stability, strength, and unwavering certainty of the holder of the bow." (Jeffery R. Holland, April 2003)

Suddenly I become the holder of the bow.

My thoughts turn to stability.  Strength.  Unwavering certainty.

Where is it that my stability comes from?

Where do I turn for strength?

In what areas is my certainty unwavering?

I pause to consider.

...because if the most important factor in determining the destination of my arrow rests upon those three things, then determining the answers to those questions becomes crucial.

I begin to write.  Within the answers I discover something ––what lies beneath the stability, the strength, and the certainty is the very essence of what I believe.

"Your own personal testimony is the strongest arrow in your quiver."  (Elder James E. Faust, April 1996)

Emily Freeman