Monday, September 28, 2015

Spiritual Experiences Help Us Endure

n Genesis 15 Abraham begins losing faith that his promise from the Lord would be fulfilled. Sarah in her old age had not born him a son which would allow innumerable posterity. We can learn a great lesson from Abraham, Lehi and Nephi as they have all had similar experiences as this account.

One reason why being able to recognize our promptings that have come from the spirit and to know that God has spoken to  us directly about our daily lives- is because we all have times when we will need to be able to recall and hold close these sacred experiences that we have in our hearts and journals; in order that we can endure our trials. 

 The Lord knows what is coming for us and He is giving us spiritual experiences that we can hold onto to in order to help us endure through hard times . Perhaps Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life was a great tender mercy that he could hold onto while thrashing in the sea with his rebellious children Laman and Lemuel as they were punished by the storm? Perhaps Nephi seeing the life of the Savior on earth in His ministry would prepare him to endure in faith when he would witness the fate of his people's - destruction? And help him to endure on and end with the witness that his words would be as if they were spoken from the dust and convert many to Christ?

In this account Abraham has a wondrous experience as he asked God if he could choose his heir to be his foreman Eliezer - to ensure that the promise would be fulfilled in some way? God was quite merciful in Abraham's lack of faith as he reassured him with spiritual experiences:

Genesis 15: 5

  • Old Testament
5And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars , if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 
It seems as though Abraham still did not believe him - Abraham asked him again? 

JSTGenesis 15: 9: 9

  • Joseph Smith Translation
9And Abram said, Lord God, how wilt thou give me this land for an everlasting inheritance? 
The Lord reminds him that He is God and what He says goes...
and then the Lord tells him to make an offering which signified a covenant between the two. 
This also reminds me of my experiences as I have been told to go to the temple when my faith begins to lack ( in God's promises being fulfilled.)
After Abraham had this spiritual experience he, like Lehi and Nephi saw Jesus Christ in his earthly ministry: 

JSTGenesis 15: 12: 12

  • Joseph Smith Translation
12And it came to pass, that Abram looked forth and saw the days of the Son of Man, and was glad, and his soul found rest, and he believed in the Lord; and the Lord counted it unto him for righteousness. 
Finally, perhaps Abraham was able to endure and have faith when shortly after these spiritual experiences, Abraham fell into a  " deep sleep " wherein he saw that his posterity would be slaves to Egypt. 
  • Old Testament
13And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 
I can not hardly imagine what it must have been like for Abraham to see his posterity suffer as slaves, but I know that those promises that were made to Abraham must have assured him that in the end- All will be well- Because he must put his trust in God. 
In my life when I have wondered upon the state that me, my husband, my children, and my posterity will be in eternity, I have been able to hold onto the spiritual experiences that I have had in that I do not know exactly how things will end, but that I do know that God's will be done, as all things are done in wisdom, patience and long suffering ( Mosiah 4:6 ) by God and His Matchless power. I trust in Him and I submit my will to His because I know that as I keep my temple covenants, love others, read my scriptures, pray and become more like Him; I will be worthy of the exact same blessings that our Father Abraham was promised in these very chapters, and that is all that I need to know because I love Him and I know from experience that showing Him that I love Him is the thing that has brought me the most happiness in life. 
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

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