Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday thoughts on Monday

(Yesterday was a lovely foggy day—everything was flocked with a layer of frost.)

At 3:00, the members of two wards in our stake were called in to a special meeting, where boundary changes were announced.

Each member of the stake presidency spoke about how we are all called to do hard things, about how these changes will bring about much good.

But what really stood out to me was a reference to Caleb, in the book of Joshua, where he said, "Give me this mountain." I really don't know my Old Testament like I should, so this was not familiar to me. I looked it up tonight and thought about it.

9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the Lord my God.

10 And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.

11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.

12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said. (emphasis mine)

And I found a talk by Spencer W. Kimball in October 1979, where he addressed this section of the scriptures:

From Caleb’s example we learn very important lessons. Just as Caleb had to struggle and remain true and faithful to gain his inheritance, so we must remember that, while the Lord has promised us a place in his kingdom, we must ever strive constantly and faithfully so as to be worthy to receive the reward.

Caleb concluded his moving declaration with a request and a challenge with which my heart finds full sympathy. The Anakims, the giants, were still inhabiting the promised land, and they had to be overcome. Said Caleb, now at 85 years, “Give me this mountain” (Josh. 14:12).

This is my feeling for the work at this moment. There are great challenges ahead of us, giant opportunities to be met. I welcome that exciting prospect and feel to say to the Lord, humbly, “Give me this mountain,” give me these challenges.

Humbly, I give this pledge to the Lord and to you, my beloved brothers and sisters, fellow workers in this sacred cause of Christ: I will go forward, with faith in the God of Israel, knowing that he will guide and direct us, and lead us, finally, to the accomplishment of his purposes and to our promised land and our promised blessings.

I just love this.

I am not there yet. I sat and cried when I heard that we and some of our neighbors will be moving to a new ward. I am so sad for Lucas, who is leaving a great Deacon's quorum and wonderful leaders. I cried when some of my young women came and hugged me. I am sad for all of the people that I will miss, for the ward family that I have loved.

I am not ready to ask for challenges, but as they are given to me, I want to, as Caleb, wholly follow the Lord my God. I want to go forward with faith. And I am grateful for the scriptures and prophets who inspire and comfort me.


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Ohhhhhhh, what a lovely, lovely passage to remember. Thank you for sharing it with us. I've always overlooked Caleb. Not anymore.

Best wishes with your new ward...and Lucas' reattaching.

patsy said...

This is such a hard lesson.

You inspire me again & again

Marie said...

Five years ago our ward and stake boundaries changed and we were heart-broken to leave so many dear friends behind, but just last week I was talking to a friend who made the change with us and we agreed that we love our new ward every bit as much as we did the old one. The members of our new ward reached out to us with love and kindness and if we ever have to leave it we will be heartbroken again.

When the change was announced the Relief Society president came to visit and we shed some tears but noted that even though we were separated the Church is still true. =)

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