Saturday, January 23, 2016

We Are Hungry and Our Bows Are Broken

17 And after we had traveled for the space of many days, we did pitch our tents for the space of a time, that we might again rest ourselves and obtain food for our families.

18 And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.

19 And it came to pass that we did return without food to our families, and being much fatigued, because of their journeying, they did suffer much for the want of food.

Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 16:17-19

At this point, this is what I wish would have happened. I wish they had all knelt in prayer (united in heart, knit together in love), and prayed, "Heavenly Father, we are tired and hungry, and so are our families. Our best hunting tool is now broken. The temptation to murmur against Thee and become discouraged is strong.

"We know that Thou seest fit to chasten Thy children, to try their patience and faith (see Mosiah 23:21). We have left Jerusalem, and having been following Thy commands as best we can. Sometimes, to our limited understanding, our best just doesn't seem good enough. After all our effort, the blessings/protection/providence we expected have not been realized in the time frame we anticipated (now).

"We are now faced with a choice: hungry and tired as we are, the easy choice would be to doubt and to murmur against Thee, squabble with each other, and to become discouraged and upset. But there is a better choice. We can 'submit cheerfully and with patience' to Thy will (Mosiah 24:15) and trust that in Thy good time, as we continue to do what we can, Thou wilt deliver us and provide for us. Until that time comes, help us not to murmur. Help us exercise and strengthen our patience and trust in Thee. Though we suffer, may our sufferings be swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Help us to wait upon thee (Isaiah 40:31), with utmost assurance (D&C 123:17) that as we continue faithful, we shall see Thy arm be revealed. May our afflictions be consecrated for our gain (2 Nephi 2:2).

"Surely, Thou hast not brought us this far only to let us perish in the wilderness, save it be that we lack even the faith of a grain of mustard seed" (Matthew 17:20).

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