Learning to “liken,” the scriptures unto myself, as Nephi calls it, has been a huge blessing in my life. When I liken I look for something in the verse or scripture story that has to do with me. As I read along I prayerfully ask questions, and then write down those thoughts that come into my mind. As I take the time to do this work the Spirit teaches me what the verse or story has to do with me and my situation today. I have learned over the years that the Spirit will also help me liken the words to hymns and even thoughts from great literature to my own situation. I thought it might be kind of fun to share an example of the kinds of questions that come to me as I go through this learning process. I often use a dictionary to help me understand the various meanings of words. I’m not going to share the answers to the questions that came to me as I studied the words to this hymn. They’re personal and sacred to me. I am going to use the favorite hymn “Come, Come Ye Saints.” As you read the following I invite you to use your journal to “liken” this hymn to yourself.
“Come, come ye Saints.”
This seems to be an invitation to the Saints to come along. Could this be an invitation to me too?
I am not being asked to cross the plains, so where am I being invited to go today?
What am I being invited to do today?
“No toil (long, hard work) nor labor (physical or mental effort) fear.”
Am I ever afraid of hard, long work?
What are some examples of “toil and labor” that I am afraid of today?
Most people deal with the fear of doing something hard by feeling, thinking and then behaving in a certain way. Sometimes the things we do are destructive to ourselves and others. In fact, they may be compulsive or addictive. What are some of the things I do when I come upon a required task that seems too hard or like it will take too long?
“But with joy wend (go) your way”
So instead of being afraid of long, hard work, according to this inspired song I am supposed to be joyful. How is it possible to do hard things that I am afraid of and feel happy instead of fearful?
“Though hard to you this journey may appear, grace shall be as your day”
My journey sure seems hard sometimes. Maybe “grace” is the answer! I looked up the word “grace” in the Bible Dictionary and found these words. “…It is the divine means of help or strength given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ…It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement and repentance of their sins receive strength and assistance to do good works they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means.” What is it about “grace” that might make a difference in whether I have fear or joy today?
“Grace shall be as your day.”
How much grace can I count on receiving? It’s a challenge to live one day at a time but according to this song a days worth of grace is what I can watch for.
“Tis better far for us to strive our useless cares from us to drive.”
This is another help for living in joy instead of fear on this journey. What are useless cares? Do I have any of them? What are some of the ones I am dealing with today?
Hear are some ideas that come to my mind. Do I ever worry about things I can’t do anything about? What are some examples?
Sometimes I see the Lord helping me and I am grateful but instead of feeling “joy” in the Lord today I worry about tomorrow. Could this be a useless care? Is this a problem for me? Write down an example.
So if we will allow the Lord to help me (grace), and if I will strive to drive away those things I worry about, the things I have no power over, by turning them over to the Lord, this is the promise. This is how I feel today:
“Do this, and joy your hearts will swell. All is well. All is well.”
Wow! What a great song. It’s not just of pioneers of 1847. It’s for us, pioneers of the year 2008.
By Nannette W.
Posted Monday, August 18, 2008
Copyright 2008 by Nannette W. All right reserved.
Making or sending copies is permitted if the page is not changed in any way and the material is not used for profit.
This notice must be included on each copy made or sent.