Emily Belle Freeman



Turn Not Aside

1 Chronicles 6:49 - 1 Chronicles 11:13

Last night I finished reading the book of Kings.  I had noticed a theme there that I wanted to mark in my scriptures while I could still remember the importance.

I wonder if you noticed the same theme?

So I took a red and blue pencil and I marked how each of the Kings were introduced.  The learning was found in the description of their character.  Blue signified a wicked King.

Red signified a righteous King.

Immediately I began to realize that the wicked Kings far outnumbered the righteous.

But I also noticed something else.  It was the description of how they walked... the wicked Kings "walked in the sins of his father," "walked in the way of Jeroboam," "walked in the way of the Kings of Israel," and "walked in the way of the house of Ahab."

I loved the description of Josiah, who "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or the left."  (2 Kings 21:2)

I can't help but ponder this idea of walking without turning aside to the right hand or the left...the thought of walking in righteousness.  I am intrigued by what a small percentage of Kings walked in righteousness during their reign.

I want to celebrate their dedication.  I want to learn from their diligence.  I want to live my life without turning aside to the right hand or the left.

This weekend I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Mary Fielding Smith, "having not the smallest desire to go one step backward."

From the Book of Kings I can understand the importance of that desire.  I want to be someone like that.

As we ponder on walking righteously today, I want to give you a few more details on the walk I told you about last week.

I am the type of person who likes to experience what I am learning.  It helps me to remember, and to feel, and to better understand.  Rather than be told what I should learn, I want to experience it firsthand...by reading about it, by studying it out, and by experiencing it for myself.

As we have read the Old Testament I am learning that a clear and consistent lesson is taught throughout  ––the Lord continually invites the people to allow Him to be their God.  As I study I begin to realize that there was always a choice involved in accepting this invitation.  Dedication and diligence were required.  The righteous had a desire to walk without turning aside to the right hand or the left.  These people had to consciously choose righteousness. To move forward and not backward.

Aren't we faced with the same decision today?

I have participated in many walks in my lifetime.  A walk for diabetes.  A midnight walk to cure cancer.  A walk to honor the life of someone I admire.  I have even walked in several 5k's.  On June 23 I would like to invite you to a different kind of walk.

Perhaps we could call it A Walk For Righteousness.

What will this walk entail?

A celebration.  An experience.  A journey.

One where we will discover what it means to choose the Lord.  To invite Him into our life.  Together we will experience what it means to accept His invitation to "go and do thou likewise."  We will find strength within this journey to fight our own personal battles as we move forward.

We will learn what it means to "depart not from following Him," and to "turn not aside."

We will become followers who have not the smallest desire to go one step backward.

A seventeen mile journey.

A Walk For Righteousness.

Over the weekend I have heard from a seventeen year old boy from Orange County, and a woman in Nova Scotia.  Each expressed a desire to join the celebration.  The boy asked his parents if they would send him to Utah for his senior gift.  The woman will join us by walking seventeen miles in Nova Scotia.  Already I find my heart rejoicing in the thought of people walking across the World on June 23 to celebrate righteousness.

Would you like to join us?

Here's what you should do to prepare...

Mark the date on your calendar.  Notice the training schedule that has been added to the menu bar above.

If you are someone who doesn't exercise frequently (like me!) then this schedule will help you prepare.  This is the schedule I will be keeping for the next few months.

If you exercise regularly then you should be fine.  You might want to schedule a couple of longer walks into your normal exercise routine just to make sure you have the right shoes.

We will be walking in Provo, Utah.

As the walk approaches I will begin posting more information, times, and details.

So looking forward to the adventure!

If you are not a walker, no need to panic!  This blog will continue as it always has, with reading updates every day.  And my mind is already working on a June 23 celebration for those who want to participate in an experience, but not necessarily a walk.

As you go throughout this day maybe you could ponder on the theme from the Book of Kings.  Consider what it means to turn neither to the right hand or the left.

Let your day be filled with forward thinking...

and may you have not the smallest desire to go one step backward.






Emily Freeman