Sunday, October 19, 2014

D&C 138:11 -- On Pondering

"As I pondered over these things which are written, the eyes of my understanding were opened, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great."
Doctrine and Covenants 138:11

I was looking at several scriptures this morning, and it was interesting to me how often the word "ponder" was linked to some sort of revelation from God.  The idea of thinking, or studying it out in our minds is all over the scriptures, and is perhaps something that we don't do enough of.  In this verse, Joseph F. Smith was pondering a scripture, and received a revelation, very similar to what happened to the boy Joseph so many years earlier.  He read James 1:5, and thought about it for a long time, finally determining to act on it.  It seems to be a pattern that follows prophets, and of course something that we can get in on, as we desire to understand God's word more fully.  Praying and reading and pondering about the things of God help us to get us into the proper mind frame to be able to receive revelation.  So does keeping the Sabbath Day holy and fasting.  As the Saviour said in Mark 2:27 "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:"--the sabbath is there to *help* us get into the right mind frame with God, and ease communication with him.  The same with fasting.  They aren't weird arbitrary rules.  They are all things that help us commune with the Lord.
Today, let's remember that the commandments are there to help us and guide us and lead us in correct paths, not to torture and restrict us.  When we don't understand something, let's think, and study, and ponder.  Let's ask God.  Let's fast and pray and set aside time for the things of God.  If we do, then perhaps we can quiet down the background noise of our lives enough to hear God, who loves us and who has been trying to reach us the whole time.

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