In the account of the Jaredites we read of the time that the brother of Jared was building barges to take he and his people to the Promised Land. It is a story we are all familiar with, but one that has been misinterpreted often. In the account we are told that the Brother of Jared encountered two problems with these barges that he didn’t know how to solve. When this is taught it is too often explained that the lesson of the story is that we should think things through and then take our plans to the Lord for approval.
But that is not what happens here. The Brother of Jared recognizes that there are two problems. The barges are so air tight that the inhabitants will not have enough air, and they are dark inside. So he goes to the Lord and asks how to solve the problems. The Lord immediately tells him how to fix the air problem. He tells the Brother of Jared to make holes with coverings in the floor and in the ceiling of the barge then when they need air they can open the top hole to let air in and if water gets in with the air they can open the bottom hole and push it out. Air problem solved.
The Lord then asks the Bother of Jared how he would like to solve the light problem. But even then He tells the Brother of Jared that windows won’t work and neither will fire. With these qualifications in mind and with the invitation from the Lord given to come up with a solution, the Brother of Jared then determines that if the Lord will touch 16 stones he has molten out of rock, it will solve the problem. He makes the stones, takes them to the mountain top, and asks the Lord to touch them. The Lord obliges and the stones provide light for the journey.
The important thing to note here is that the experience does not begin with the Brother of Jared thinking everything through and solving the problems. It begins and ends with prayer. The Brother of Jared takes his concerns to the Lord and is given one answer and told to think through the other problem. While it is good for us to use our own intellect and try to work out our own problems, every step of that process needs to be accompanied by prayer. If we are truly yoked with the Lord, He will be part of every thought and every solution, not just someone we turn to at the end for the stamp of approval.