Autumn is in full swing! Our Halloween went well (see pics below!) and it has been so very cold here. It was a weird year for us since normally the sweaters don’t come out until Christmas or even after here. The temperatures are starting to get back to normal for us now, warming up some but still with chilly mornings. Sharp, brisk mornings are one of my favorite things. My parents sent me a video of the Midwest where they’ve had their first real snow of the year and I can’t help but miss it (Maybe I’m crazy ha!). I can’t help but be thankful for the beautiful world we live in. There was a quote I saw from a book that about summed up my feelings on autumn. I did an 8×10 digital download for you that’s available below. It says,
“Steam rising underneath a canopy of whispering, changing aspens; starlight in the clear, dark night, and wondrous beauty in every direction. If only all could feel this way, to be so captured and enthralled with autumn.”
The sky does seem clearer in the fall (when those big clouds finally roll away!) and there is most definitely beauty in every direction. I am grateful for the uniqueness of autumn.
The other thing I wanted to touch on was a funny misinterpretation I had of the scriptures on a chapter on Isaiah (surprise!). Scriptural comprehension is not a strength of mine, as you’ll see… I was reading over 2 Nephi 7, which is compared to Isaiah 50. I don’t understand some of it still, but there were a couple things that stood out to me. First, in verse 5 it says, “The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” How often does the Lord bless us with the ability to know and do more and we turn away from him or even rebelled? I hope I can have the humility, faith, and strength to listen and do as He asks. Verses 7-9 tell us,
“For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded…
And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth.
For the Lord God will help me. And all they who shall condemn me, behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up.”
There are so many confusing messages today. Youth are being deceived and misled as are women, specifically. Satan knows that by targeting these groups he can greatly influence the future. Sheri Dew told us, “It is no wonder that Satan has declared war on motherhood. He understands full well that those who rock the cradle can rock his earthly empire.” If mothers are targeted, children are targeted. I’m not saying men aren’t, I think they’ve struggled and been targets for a long time, but this point in history seems to be especially detrimental to the work of women and the progression of children. What I love about these verses of scripture is that it tells us that when the Lord is near we can “not be confounded”. Discernment is a gift. It’s something we can work on throughout our lives, but it is truly a gift to those who desire to do good. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost and His willingness to help us as we navigate this difficult world.
Okay, so now on to verse 11. This one I was completely and totally wrong about! Here it is:
Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand—ye shall lie down in sorrow.
So my first thoughts (and even what I wrote in my journal) was that we are required to put in the sparks and kindle our relationship with the Savior, who will then give us guiding light and warmth, love, and comfort. Totally NOT what this verse meant!!! What it’s actually saying is that those who kindle their own fire and follow their own desires through life rather than turning to the Lord will find sorrow. Basically the complete opposite of my initial thoughts. I think I need a book on understanding Isaiah! I was totally off, however, I thought my initial thoughts were important. Sometimes we understand things in the scriptures differently because that’s the way the Holy Ghost wants us to interpret something at that time so we can understand what we need to do in our lives. At this point, I recognize I need to continue enduring and bringing my efforts to the relationship I have with my Savior in order for Him to bless me. I need to work harder at adding my “sparks to the flame”, getting my head right, and ensuring my priorities are straight. If I can do this, and maybe you need to hear it too, I know the Lord will share abundant blessings. We had a member of our stake presidency speak to us last week briefly and one thing he said was, “The Lord’s way is always the best way”. So many times we think we know best or we are set on doing something a certain way, but we don’t stop to think or realize that the Lord is trying to lead us differently to something even better. It may not be easier, but it will always be better. By improving our relationship with the Savior, we can more easily understand what the Lord’s path for us is. This is my goal and something I know I will continue to work on. Will you?