Saturday, October 10, 2015

Your mom goes to college!

Any of you who have seen Napoleon Dynamite will recognize that phrase.  It's one of my favorite lines from the movie, and I quote it to my children often.  Now it is actually true!  I have recently started and online course through the church called Pathway.  It's a starting point to finish my college education. The cost of college courses, and lets face it my own fears, have always been a big roadblock for me.  This program makes it very affordable, and is a perfect way to ease back into and education after a 20 year hiatus.  

One of the two classes I'm taking this semester is the first half of the Book of Mormon, and an assignment is called "Putting it All Together".  This is where I can share or teach what I've been learning.  One of the options for this assignment is making a blog post, so here I am.  This week we have been studying 1 Nephi 15-22 .  

I'm going to talk focus on a quote I found in the Book of Mormon student manual which came from Richard G. Scott in the October 1995 conference:

“May I share some suggestions with you who face … the testing that a wise Heavenly Father determines is needed even when you are living a worthy, righteous life and are obedient to His commandments.
“Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Proverbs 3:11–12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain” 

I feel like I can take great comfort in this quote.  I've heard the phrase "Why do bad things happen to good people" often.  Some may feel abandoned by God when hard times come.  Trials and challenges don't mean that my Heavenly Father has forgotten us, but that He knows our ability to grow and learn from our circumstances.  We need to take comfort in the fact that our Heavenly Father is aware of our capabilities.  How wonderful is it to know that when we are challenged, even if we don't have the confidence in ourselves, our Heavenly Father does.  That knowledge can help us rely more on the Lord  To pray to Him for the strength he knows we have.  

In the Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 16:18-32 tells of Nephi's bow being broken.  He could not provide for his family.  They had been traveling in the wilderness for many days and I'm sure they were exhausted and hungry. Laman and Lemuel did what they always do and murmured against the Lord.  they were joined by the sons of Ishmael, and surprisingly, even Lehi began to murmur.  Nephi had always been faithful and could have asked "why me?", instead he chose to do something about it.  He made a new bow, then in humility asked his father "wither shall I go to obtain food?"  Lehi in turn had to humble himself and ask the Lord.  Lehi "was truly chastened."  The Liahona worked again, Nephi was able to find food and "how great was [his family's] joy!...They did humble themselves before the Lord and did give thanks unto him."

Although I don't think I want to ask for trials, I hope that in my trials I can remember and rely on the Lord's confidence in my strength and ability to grow.