Do you ever have those times when you’re reading your scriptures and you find yourself captivated by the story that’s being read? Almost as if you’re in the adventure? This is how I feel a majority through the Jaredite’s journey to the promise land. I was reading Ether chapter 6 last night and I wasn’t just merely reading a story… so many doctrinal insights popped out at me that I had to type them out and share them with you!
Okay so right now in the Book of Mormon, the brother of Jared just saw the Savior. They are about to make a journey over to the promised land, also known as modern day America, by sailing in these underwater, hand-constructed barges for THREE YEARS. Crazy right? Well not to these people! They have so much faith in the Lord that they continue to proceed forward. In order to arrive there safely, the brother of Jared goes off to pray to find a source of light that they can carry with them in the barges so they can see what they’re doing. He finds sixteen stones and prays that the Lord will perform a miracle. In short, the Savior touches the stones and they illuminate with light and the brother of Jared is filled with shock and joy to see the Savior and His body of flesh and bones. ANYWAY…. back to chapter 6!
After MUCH preparation, they are all about to head into the barges to sail away to the promised land. Following that, verse 3 says, “And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness.” The Lord didn’t want them to journey alone in confusion and darkness. He provided a light for them so they could see their journey clearly and where the Lord wanted them to go. Verse 5 says, “And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.” At this point the Jaredites probably realized that this three year journey was certainly not going to be easy. In verse 6 it continues, “And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves from which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.” Pretty rough right? I would be absolutely terrified if I were them. But you know what they decide to do? It says, “They did sing praises unto the Lord; yea the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.”
This story has such great relation to all of our lives. We are trying to make it back to the promised land, or back to our Heavenly Home where our Heavenly Parents reside. In this life we will face trials. It is inevitable. But our Heavenly Father didn’t want us to journey through this life alone. Just like He had provided the Jaredites, He will provide us with a light to make it through our journey. That light is our Savior, Jesus Christ. Similar to the stones, that light will help us see our journey more clearly and be directed to where God would have us go. We will also experience times when God causes that there should be a furious wind blown upon the face of the waters like in the times of the Jaredites, but it is up to us to handle those rough situations with continual praise to our Heavenly Father. He will free us from being buried in the depths of the sea; His love will lead us safely to the promised land.
One of my favorite moments of this story is in verse 12. It reads, “And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies upon them.” Isn’t that beautiful? I hope that will be our reaction when we return to our Heavenly Home. I hope I remain as faithful as the Jaredites did so I will be able to be accepted into the state of happiness with confidence and joy.
I love the scriptures. They give us so much insight and meaning and correlations that help us to understand the gospel more clearly and beautifully. I am so thankful for the Book of Mormon, and also for the inspired words of the Bible. I know that they works of the Lord.