Sunday, June 22, 2014

Courage Brethren and On On to the Victory / Guest

In the strength of the Lord the children of Israel entered the land of Canaan sweeping the wicked from before them.  The Lord counseled them to refrain from social exchange, worship of their false gods, and to not intermarry amongst them else their way would have snares, traps, and scourges (Joshua 23).

The Israelites fought bravely for they had faith and were, at that time, righteous.

"The Saints today also face a world intent on their spiritual destruction. Canaan has long passed from the earth, but Satan, who incited Canaan’s wickedness and opposition to Israel, is still determined to destroy those who follow the Lamb of God (see 1 Nephi 14:12–14). Sometimes modern Israel may feel apprehensive as they see the impending judgments drawing closer and closer. Modern Canaan will be destroyed in preparation for the establishment of a worldwide Zion, and this destruction is not pleasant to contemplate. Elder Ezra Taft Benson used two passages from the book of Joshua to counsel those who feel anxiety as they contemplate the future.

“Now during this critical period, and it is a critical period that we are passing through, I hope that we will keep ever burning in our hearts the spirit of this great work which we represent. If we do so, we’ll have no anxiety; we’ll have no fear; we’ll not worry about the future because the Lord has given us the assurance that if we live righteously, if we keep his commandments, if we humble ourselves before him, all will be well. I turn to two passages of scripture today which I’d like to read:

“‘. . . Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Joshua 1:9.)

“This was the Lord’s admonition to his son, Joshua, encouraging him to trust in God. Joshua answered that admonition in counsel to his people in these words: “‘. . . choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Ibid., 24:15.)

“Embodied in these two passages of scripture are the two principal essentials for security and peace: first, trust in God; and second, a determination to keep the commandments, to serve the Lord, to do that which is right. Latter-day Saints who live according to these two admonitions—trust in God and keep the commandments—have nothing to fear.

“The Lord has made it very clear in the revelations that even though times become perilous, even though we be surrounded by temptation and sin, even though there be a feeling of insecurity, even though men’s hearts may fail them and anxiety fill their souls, if we only trust in God and keep his commandments we need have no fear.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1950, pp. 145–46.)" (from the gospel student manual OT).

Sometimes when faced with problems or adversity we see the problem this way:
If we just gather enough strength and focus we can solve the problem.  When we follow this course there is an internal block to the source of true power:
Where in fact drawing unto the Lord provides us with strength, courage, and blessings to tackle the problem at hand.

I have found this truth to be the case in my own life.  As we've been here in California looking for work I've been at times hitting my head against the wall wondering why it isn't working.

At the first I thought we wanted to go to a big international city to do cool architecture.  That wasn't working and in a blessing the Lord said 'nope' that would make you miserable.

I wasn't too happy about that answer for a while.  Then I figured ok, I'll apply to firms state side that interest me in Boston, Philly, Chicago, etc.  Again that didn't pan out and in another blessing the Lord said 'nope again' that would also make you miserable.

Wasn't too happy here either.  I was to 'go to Nazareth' and then come forth from there with skills, faith, and an intact family.  Lest we forget the derision the Jews had for Jesus when they learned he came from Nazareth, "no good thing cometh from Nazareth;" obviously not a worldly, glamorous place doing cool architecture on glossy magazines.

But as I've turned more and more to the Lord and really listened, and really wanted what He wants things have been working out.  It isn't in any way what I or we may expect, but it is right and will bring us the most joy.

How can we develop the courage and faith the Lord repeatedly told Joshua about?

What difference has it made in your family?

How can turning to the Lord help solve the problems that come our way, instead of doing it ourselves?

Originally posted by Sonian in Manhood, Fatherhood, Priesthood: A forum of Advice, Insights, Council, and Loving Support on Sunday, 18 April 2010


(23 April 2010)  Troy -- It's been my experience that we develop faith through exercising it. I know that sounds circular, but so is learning to swim by jumping into the pool. Faith-building experiences can be no less frightening as well. Courage is acting even though your afraid to do so.

Several times in the last decade we have "jumped in headfirst" following what we perceived as personal revelation. There has often been a sense of "Oh, my! What have we done?!" which makes me question whether the revelation was perceived accurately. But enough of these situations have worked out (often miraculously) that it's given us the faith and courage to confidently expect the others will too. Even the outright failures (from a worldly perspective) have been for our good.

As I learn self-confidence, Father keeps taking us from one faith-building experience to another, climbing higher and higher. I've also learned in the last year of school to not only turn to the Lord, but also turn to those the Lord sends me to help. I'm paradoxically over-reliant on the Lord and fiercely independent at the same time. So this year Father's been teaching me humility to bring them into balance.

(12 May 2010) Sonian -- Thank you for sharing this experience. I've recently been following my own perceived revelation to start my own business. It is a scary and uncertain undertaking and re-reading your testimony of faithful obedience reassures me that the Lord is with me, and us, and all things will work to our good.

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