Monday, June 1, 2009

Our Promised Land Journey

When the Lord commands the Brother of Jared (Ether 2-3) to build ships to take his people to the Promised Land, he obeys. But as the ships are completed the Brother of Jared realizes that there are some problems. The first problem is that the ships are air tight and the people inside will suffocate. The other problem is that the ships are dark inside. The people sailing in the ships would not even be able to see to steer the ships! So the Brother of Jared prayed to know how to solve these two problems.

In answer to his prayer the Lord told the Brother of Jared to cut a hole in the top and in the bottom of the ship so that they could be opened when needed for air. The Brother of Jared does as he is instructed, but then prays again saying that he has obeyed the Lord’s instructions and cut the holes, but there is still a problem in that they have no light.

This time instead of telling him what to do, the Lord asked the Brother of Jared what to do about the problem. So the Brother of Jared pondered on the problem and came up with a solution. He climbed a high mountain, prepared 16 stones out of molten rock, and then prayed and asked the Lord to touch the stones so that they would give off light. The Lord answered his prayer and the 16 stones are placed in the ships where they light the way.

In Hebrew the word spirit and the words wind or breath are the same word, ruach. So symbolically we find in this story a metaphor. Our bodies are the vessels and when we are born, the Lord puts into our bodies the breath of life or our spirits so that we can make this journey through life. But as we commence the journey, we are in the dark as to how to steer our way back to God. To solve that problem we need to ask the Lord to touch our souls so we will have the light necessary to steer our vessels back to the presence of God. He gives us our spirits, but we must find the light.

There is more symbolism in just this much of the story. Ponder on it and let me know what else you learn!

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