How prophetic that council was! I have been a “student of the scriptures” (sometimes a more diligent student than others...) and, as I live my fifty-sixth year, they have been a great value to me. A very, VERY great value.
Today I share with you five verses of scripture that have been of particularly great value to me.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
I memorized this scripture as a high school student and, unlike most of things I memorized back then, it has stayed with me; stayed with me so effectively that it has become a part of me and has, very literally, shaped who I am.
Fear is NOT from God. Love is from God. So is power. And good sense. When I feel fear, I recognize it as a shackling feeling sent from the author of lies and reject it. I will not be ruled, governed, or directed by fear. Love directs me. God’s love. I use the sound mind He has given me, motivated by the love He has given me, to tap into the power He has given me and I move forward in faith. Or at least I try to! I am not completely free of fear but, thanks to this verse, I am not a slave to it either.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…”
It will all work out. It will all work out. It will all work out. I know this to be true. If we will turn to God, if we will trust and love Him, it will all work out. Whatever life throws at us, if we turn to God, He can transform the experience so that it works for our good. Perhaps we will learn traits such as patience, empathy, or resilience that will bless us in times to come. Perhaps serendipity will bring unforeseeable blessings. Perhaps peace miraculously replaces hate in our hearts. Who knows? It is impossible for me to list all the possible ways He can turn things to our good but with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). He can and will turn ALL things to our good if we let Him.
John 14: 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. And this is often how He makes things work out…. He gives us peace. It completely defies understanding (Phillipians 4:7) but it is true. I know this because I have personally experienced it on multiple occasions. Internal battles wage, external events are catastrophic, mental and physical health issues overwhelm, finances are red and relationships are red too...and yet peace is possible. In situations where peace should be anything but present, it can come. I know. I have felt it. There is peace in Christ.
2 Nephi 32: 3 ...feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
Christ’s words have all the answers. All of them. From things general, like “love one another”, to things specific such as “do not procrastinate the day of your repentance”, Christ’s words tell us all things we should do. When I struggled in a companionship on my mission I read “Go thy way unto thy brother [companion] and first be reconciled to thy brother and then come unto me..” (3 Nephi 12:24) When I wondered whether or not I should marry Lance I read “by their fruits ye shall know them” (3 Nephi 14:20) and I knew that Lance was a man whose “fruits” [works] were good. When I am unsure about whether or not I should follow my instincts I remember “that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore everything that inviteth and enticeth to do good...is inspired of God” (Moroni 7:13) and I act accordingly. The words of Christ, if we listen to, study, feast upon them, will guide us in all things.
2 Nephi 25:26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophecy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
I rejoice in Christ. I rejoice in His creations, I rejoice in His wisdom and guidance, and I rejoice in His atoning sacrifice that makes peace possible in this life and endless joy possible in the life to come. And I talk of Him to all of God’s children (and especially to my own children), so that they too may rejoice.