Friday, October 23, 2015

Isaiah, he saw it all over your face

I am really enjoying my read through the Book of Mormon student manual.  It has so many great snippets of conference talks both current and old, and through those talks and the scripture references themselves I feel a whole new level of understanding washing over me.  This week it has been especially helpful as we are getting into 2 Nephi where Nephi quotes Isaiah.

When I started reading the Book of Mormon as a young adult, I was determined to get through the whole book.  I began and found myself strolling along nicely for quite a while until one day I had an out of body experience where I knew I was reading the same book (and that it was in English), but I could NOT understand any of it.  What was going on?!  It was Isaiah.  

I wish to understand all his words one day.  As for this week, I will settle for bits and pieces of understanding.  One of my favorites I learned about was how we cannot hide our sins or our good deeds.  2 Nephi 13:9 He says:

"The show of their countenance doth witness against them, and doth declare their sin to be even as Sodom, and they cannot hide it. Wo unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves!"

I look at people and a lot of times I can tell just through pictures that they don't look happy.  I call it happy, but it really just looks like something is off.  I've noticed it in people who are trying so desperately to take happiness in sin.  The Lord has been very clear on the subject of wickedness and in the Book of Mormon his prophet Alma says, "wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:10)

I love the student manual commentary that accompanies the Isaiah verse in regards to our countenances when we sin.  It says:

Righteousness and wickedness affect both attitude and appearance. Brigham Young said, “Those who have got the forgiveness of their sins have countenances that look bright, and they will shine with the intelligence of heaven” (“Speech,” Times and Seasons, July 1, 1845, 956).
David O. McKay taught: “No man can disobey the word of God and not suffer for so doing. No sin, however secret, can escape retribution. True, you may lie and not be detected; you may violate virtue without it being known by
any who would scandalize you; yet you cannot escape the judgment that follows such transgression. The lie is lodged in the recesses of your mind, an impairment of your character that will reflect sometime, somehow in your countenance or bearing” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1951, 8).

How's that for trying to lie, cheat or steal from here on out?  Any form of wickedness and it'll show up all over your face.  Isaiah saw it, and sometimes the rest of us can see it too.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Lehi, Nephi and Hangry

Hangry, anger induced from being hungry.  Pregnant women and mom's of small children understand this emotion all too well.  I can't tell you how many times I've forced my husband through fast food  restaurants because I was "starving" and would eat him if he didn't pull over.  My children throw massive fits out of hanger and even my husband has been known to change his attitude 180˚ after eating a hearty meal.  Food.  It's so powerful.

The opposite of being hangry is fasting.  Fasting is going without food or drink for a certain period of time.  When I fast it is for religious purposes and I begin my fast with a prayer addressing a specific reason for the fast.  I then begin NOT eating or drinking for 24 hours, but in this scenario every time I hear my stomach growl I remember what I'm fasting for and say another prayer pleading with and giving thanks to the Lord.  Somehow I have managed to make it through many fasts in my lifetime and be happy about it.  The prayer and purpose make the hunger a challenge to be overcome. 100% of the time I receive the answers I was looking for at the beginning of the fast.  Amazing!

This week while reading in the Book of Mormon, I read how Lehi, the PROPHET, has hangry issues too. What?!  It all starts when Nephi breaks his bow while hunting and his family suffers "much for the want of food", 1 Nephi 16:19.  Lehi wasn't fasting, he was suffering!  He was asking his children, "Please, for the love, can we stop anywhere for something to eat?"  Only there were no Carl's Jrs, In-N-Out or even a McDonald's.  So what would you do without a drive through?  Cry.  I would cry.  And probably be sad that grass and dirt don't taste like cheeseburgers.

Lehi is brought "down into the depths of sorrow" over lack of food and was driven to murmuring.  Nephi saves the day, but I was comforted this week to know I am not alone in my struggles of being hangry.  It knows no boundaries and has been happening for thousands of years.