Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Hand of God

Today I got to listen to some talks at church which were based on something from the past General Conference in October. Henry B. Eyring had delivered a powerful reminder to keep a journal, more specifically to write down how the Lord had a hand in your life that day in order to preserve and share it with your family later. The archived article, Remember, Oh Remember, is worth reading; or if you are so inclined, there is a video stream available on the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference 2007.

Arlena Puffer read from her copy of Elder Eyring’s talk and I could hear Elder Eyring’s voice, having enjoyed that particular talk only a month ago.

“When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. Let me tell you how that got started. I came home late from a Church assignment. It was after dark. My father-in-law, who lived near us, surprised me as I walked toward the front door of my house. He was carrying a load of pipes over his shoulder, walking very fast and dressed in his work clothes. I knew that he had been building a system to pump water from a stream below us up to our property.

He smiled, spoke softly, and then rushed past me into the darkness to go on with his work. I took a few steps toward the house, thinking of what he was doing for us, and just as I got to the door, I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.”

I went inside. I didn’t go to bed. Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family. Grandpa didn’t have to do what he was doing for us. He could have had someone else do it or not have done it at all. But he was serving us, his family, in the way covenant disciples of Jesus Christ always do. I knew that was true. And so I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it.”

I too keep a journal, maybe not as well as Elder Eyring’s; but I write those things which are important to me. Sometimes I share it with anyone interested and call it a blog while other times it becomes a more personal issue and I share it in the form of a letter. One year I made an effort to record my thoughts on a variety of subjects using a commercial booklet form complete with Thomas Kinkade art on the cover. I didn’t like the way the questions were to be filled in; instead I used the booklet as a guide only, creating my own journal, Father’s Memories To His Child. I then had my work copied at the local Office Depot where they bound it professionally so I could give each of my children a copy.

This past week I wrote and posted my thoughts about Thanksgiving, A Day to Give Thanks To God and found some interesting articles on the Internet which didn’t fit with my narrowed opinion regarding the purpose of Thanksgiving Day. In my own way this is a form of a journal, a means of recording how the Hand of the Lord has touched my family. It may also serve as a means of opening a door for anyone who happens to stop by to read my thoughts, a planting of a seed that may one day sprout.

Many of you are familiar with Neil Boortz, author of, Somebody’s Got to Say It, and his daily blog, Nealz Nuze. He usually has a place at the end of each day’s writings, a list of required reading which would further inform his readership of things which he considered important to be aware of; like a homework assignment. Along that line of thought I would include, The General Epistle of James as found in the New Testament; only a few pages if you’re worried about having too many pages to turn. I would include, as part of this great experiment on building faith, something from the Book of Mormon, Alma Chapter 32: all verses; but mostly 26-43 as they deal with the most basic elements of faith.

Continuing with your reading assignments, Helaman Chapter 12, a reminder of the nothingness of man. From the Hymn Book, Count Your Blessings, click on the option “Words and Music”. Last on the list would be a song recorded by Bing Crosby and performed in the movie, White Christmas, Count Your Blessings ( Instead of Sheep). I’d have printed the words out here except it would probably violate some copyright or royalty interest.

When you are through with the reading assignments you should have a better understanding of how important gratitude and being Thankful to your Heavenly Father is; more importantly, it might open your heart and mind to a more spiritual portion of life, something which is more important than all the gold in Fort Knox.

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