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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book of Mormon class ~ Helaman chapter 10

Taught by Sue G.

Being completely trusted by God is a 
great honor. 

The Lectures on Faith teach that awareness of Gods approval is necessary for ones faith.  An actual knowledge to any person, that the cause of life which he pursues is according to the will of God is essentially necessary to enable him to have that confidence in God without which no person can obtain eternal life.

Trust and approval come by obedience to all of Gods commandments.  Helaman chapters 10-12 highlight how important it is to heed the promptings of the Spirit. Only by doing so can we be sure we are living according to Gods will.  These chapters also highlight how important it is to want what God wants. 

As we prove faithful in the small things the Lord will trust us with the greater things.
Helaman 10:1-3

*To ponder is to meditate and think deeply, often upon the scriptures or other things of God.  When combined with prayer, pondering may bring revelation and understanding.  Nephi and other prophets received revelation while pondering.  

Elder M Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles taught that all of us would benefit from time to ponder and meditate.  In the quiet moments of personal introspection, the spirit can teach us much.

Elder Richard G Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles suggested that a quiet pace is conducive to pondering, "Find a retreat of peace and quiet where periodically you can ponder and let the Lord establish the direction of your life."

Elder Russell M Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles share with us the benefits of pondering as you ponder and pray about doctrinal principals, the Holy Ghost will speak to your mind and your heart (D&C 8:2)  From events portrayed in the scriptures new insights will come and principles relevant to your situation will distill upon your heart.
Helaman 10:4-5

Like Nephi, if we learn to ask "In the spirit" and according to Gods will, then, it is done as we ask. 
(D&C 46:30, D&C 50:29-30)

President Marion G. Romney shared some necessary aspects of proper petitions:  When we pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus for specific personal things, we should feel in the very depths of our soul that we are willing to subject our petitions to the will of our Father in Heaven.

The time will come when we shall know the will of God before we ask, then everything for which we pray will be expedient.  Everything for which we ask will be right.  That will be when as a result of righteous living, we shall so enjoy the companionship of the Spirit that he will dedicate shall we ask.
Pres. Romney had an experience in which the Lord gave him a promise similar to Nephi's.  Elder Jefferey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about it...

In 1967 Sister Ida Romney suffered a serious stroke. The doctors told then-Elder Romney that the damage from the hemorrhage was severe.  They offered to keep her alive by artificial means but did not recommend it.  The family braced for the worst. 

Brother Romney confided to those closest to him that in spite of his anguished, personal yearning for Ida's restored health and continued companionship, above all he wanted the Lord's will to be done and to take what he needed to to take without whimpering. As the days wore on, Sister Romney became less responsive.  She had, of course, been administered to, but Elder Romney was 'reluctant to counsel the Lord about the matter'.  Because of his earlier unsuccessful experience of praying that he and Ida might have children, he knew that he could never ask in prayer for something that was not in harmony with the will of the Lord.  He fasted that he might know how to show the Lord he had faith and would accept God's will in their lives.  He wanted to make sure he had done all he could do, but she continued to fail.

One evening in a particularly depressed state, with Ida unable to speak or recognize him, Brother Romney went home and turned, as he always had, to the scriptures in an effort to commune with the Lord. He picked up the Book of Mormon and continued where he had left off the night before.  He had been reading in Helaman about the prophet Nephi, who has been falsely accused an unfairly charged with sedition.  Following a miraculous deliverance from his accusers, Nephi returned home pondering the things he had experienced.  As he did so, he heard a voice.

Although Marion Romney had read that story many times before, it now struck him this night as a personal revelation.  The words of the scripture so touched his heart that for the first time in weeks, he felt he had tangible peace.  It seemed as if the Lord were speaking directly to him.  The scripture read; Blessed art thou,...for those things which thou hast done...thou has not....sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this with such un-wearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever, and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works, yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.  (Helaman 10:4-5)

There was the answer.  He had sought only to know and obey the will of the Lord, and the Lord had spoken.  He fell to his knees and poured out his heart, and as he concluded his prayer with the phrase, "Thy will be done", he either felt or actually heard a voice that said, "It is not contrary to my will that Ida be healed."

Brother Romney rose to his feet quickly.  It was past two o'clock in the morning, but he knew what he must do.  Quickly he put on his tie and coat, then went out into the night to visit Ida in the hospital.  

He arrived shortly before three o'clock.  His wife's condition was unabated.  She did not stir as he placed his hands upon her pale forehead.  With undeviating faith, he invoked the power of the priesthood in her behalf.  He pronounced a simple blessing and then uttered the incredible promise that she would recover her health and her mental powers and would yet perform a great mission upon the earth.

Even thought he did not doubt, Elder Romney was astonished to see Ida's eyes open as he concluded the blessing.  Somewhat stunned by all that had happened, he sat down on the edge of the bed only to hear his wife's frail voice for the first time in months.  She said, "For goodness sake, Marion, what are you doing here"?  He didn't know whether to laugh or to cry.  He said, "Ida, how are you"?  With that flash of humor so characteristic of both of them, she replied, "Compared to what, Marion? Compared to what"?

Ida Romney began her recovery from that very moment, soon left her hospital bed, and lived to see her husband sustained as a member of the First Presidency of the Church, 'a great mission upon the earth', indeed.  (F. Burton Howard, Marion G. Romney: His Life and Faith)

* Just an interesting note:  And it came to pass...   A phrase used frequently in the scriptures to join consecutive events in historical narrative.  In the Old Testament, the phrase, "And it came to pass", reflects the Hebrew expression, wa-yhee which means "and it was".  In the Book of Mormon as it is in the Old Testament, it is often followed by a time phrase.

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