Monday, November 21, 2016

Helaman 5:46-47 -- On Listening and Finding Peace

"And it came to pass that there came a voice unto them, yea, a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper, saying:
Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world."
Helaman 5:46-47

This is at the end of a pretty cool story.  Briefly, some prophets got thrown into jail, and almost everyone in the jail was converted, after witnessing the power of God.  There is a lot more to it, and I absolutely recommend reading the whole story, which starts in verse 21 where they get cast into prison.

One thing I like about these verses is that the voice of God is quiet.  God doesn't yell or scream at us.
 In fact, if we don't shut down the distractions in our lives, we won't be able to hear him.  Instead of overriding the noise, he asks us to turn it off and concentrate... us seeking him, rather than him demanding our attention.  A further reminder that our destiny is our choice.  Life is one of those choose your own adventure books, and God clearly tells us which choices will lead to the happy ending, but he never forces us to make the right choices, or turns the pages for us.  This is about our education and our will.  If we turn to a bad ending, that is all us.  And even then, in God's infinite mercy, it usually isn't a permanent bad ending.  We get to repent, and sometimes turn back a few pages, trying the better option. :)  God gives us many, many chances to get back on track.

Unfortunately, the more we choose badly, the harder it gets to remember the good, or want to get back on track,,, and that is part of the idea of the pleasant whisper here.  We have to remove all of the clutter and grime and rust and walls, and whatever else, that we've let build up between us and God, and really, really listen.  If we do... when we do, God gives us a message of grace and peace, not railing accusations and guilt trips about how long we have been away.  Always love... always acceptance and welcome.  The message of peace in this verse was to the other 300 or so prisoners that were in prison with the prophets.  They weren't people who had lived all their lives in the light.  In fact, they had only just barely learned how God had the power to save them from the darkness.  And he still commends their faith, and blesses them with his peace.

Today, let's work on removing the distractions from our lives, and clearing out the barriers that we've built between ourselves and God.  Let's silence the noise and truly listen to what God is telling us.  As we do, we too can be saved from the darkness and find peace.

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