Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Power of Standing Amazed

As you can tell if you’ve been reading these posts long, I’ve been thinking a lot about adversity lately. The other day I was studying the story of the Savior’s appearance to the Nephites in 3 Nephi and found something I’d never seen before. The metaphor in the story came to life for me.

Many scholars believe that the terrible destruction in the New World at the time of the Savior’s death was caused by a volcano eruption. An earthquake usually lasts a few seconds with residual tremors, but a volcano erupting can cause the earth to continue to tremble and shake for hours. Flowing lava could bury cities and clouds of ash could block out all light. No one knows for sure what caused the dark destruction, but it is informative to ponder the horrendous fear and trauma the survivors endured during those three days whatever the cause.

Many suffered the loss of loved ones. There was absolutely no light, not even a spark, for three days. Many people were hurt and calling out in pain. Children were terrified and crying. Hunger, pain, deprivation, frustration, terror, fear, and every other negative emotion gripped the people for three days, but then the glorious gift of the Savior’s voice speaking through the darkness broke the bonds of those negative feelings and there was silence in the land (3 Nephi 10:1). Mormon goes on to tell us; “So great was the astonishment of the people that they did cease lamenting and howling for the loss of their kindred which had been slain” (10:2).

What struck me is that their astonishment overrode all those negative feelings. They were still in the dark. They were still hungry and in pain. They still had lost loved ones. They still had every reason to fear the unknown that surrounded them, but their astonishment at hearing the voice of Jesus Christ silenced their fears.

Too often I forget all the Atonement has done for me. I cease to be astonished and when I cease to be astonished the fears and negative feelings of the world overtake me and I find myself overwhelmed with the dark, painful, fearful events of this world. But, as I remember to “stand all amazed” the negative things of life are swallowed up and silenced just as they was for the Nephites.

The dictionary says that astonishment means “to strike with sudden and usually great wonder or surprise.” Great wonder that He would die for me. Surprise that He has rescued me. The voice of the Spirit whispers the message, and I am astonished!

1 comment:

Laresa said...

Again what a great post. I needed to hear this right now. You just know what to post at the right moment.