Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy


I need to warn you that getting to the point of this post is going to take a little explaining of basic Mormon beliefs.  Stick with me and I hope it will be worth it.  If it's not, I promise that tomorrow my post will be airheaded at best. Fair?

So.  Mormon's believe that God called prophets to write the Bible.  Pretty basic right?  These men, who lived in Jerusalem and round about were called by God to write and preach the things that he told them. Now, the trouble is that at the time there wasn't really any way to get information to other parts of the world but all of God's children needed to know the things that he was telling the people in Jerusalem (and they also needed some things that were specific to their needs and situations).  Enter the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon was written by prophets who lived on the American continent and contains the same kinds of stories and prophecies that the Bible contains. Both books hold an equal level of sacred importance in our religion.

The first prophet to write in the Book of Mormon is named Lehi and he actually lived in Jerusalem before the Babylonian captivity.  He was warned by the Lord that Jerusalem was going to be taken captive and told that if he left with his family he would be given a land of promise.  Lehi probably thought that this "land of promise" was Canaan but...it was actually somewhere in the Americas.

We're going to jump into the story several hundred miles after Lehi and his family left Jerusalem.  They traveled in the wilderness toward the Red Sea camping and hunting along the way.  At this point the Lord speaks to Lehi and tells him that he neglected to bring any of the sacred writings with him and that the sacred  writings are critical to the success of his journey so he needs to send 3 of his sons back to Jerusalem to get them (we can talk about the timing of the Lord another time but I can see that you are thinking, "that's probably information they could have used a hundred miles ago."  I am thinking that same thing).  So he sends his sons back.

As you can imagine, this is very hard on the children's mother.  Sariah has picked up her whole house and is camping in the wilderness because her husband has had a vision that Jerusalem is going to be destroyed.  Now he tells her that her oldest sons have to go back because they forgot to bring their scriptures. Just so you aren't left in suspense, the boys complete their mission but it takes longer than expected.  After Sariah has waited for the amount of time that they assume it will take and her boys are not yet back she has a little melt down.  She tells her husband that he is crazy and that she can't believe he dragged her into this and that she is sure they are going to die in the wilderness (of course I am paraphrasing).

Lehi's response is a lesson for husbands everywhere.  He holds her and comforts her and assures her that the boys will return.  He doesn't fight.  Then he says this,

"I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God... But behold, I have obtained a land of promise, in the which things I do rejoice..."

Did you catch the tense there.  He has obtained a land of promise.  This is funny and a little troubling because he has not actually obtained a land of promise and he and his family will wander in the wilderness for a long time before he does.

Today I got it.

We had a typical morning.  It started out with a bowl of cornflakes thrown on the floor, a time out, a second bowl of cornflakes eaten and a third thrown on the floor and another time out.  Then some cuddling because two time-outs in 20 min is hard on everyone and finally we made some yogurt. Claire climbed up on the little step stool and busied herself trying to push everything into the sink.  I asked her to take the canning lids and showed her how after I poured in the yogurt she was going to put them on and then I was going screw on the top.  And.  She got it.  She cheered after she finished each one and when we were all finished she almost cried because she wanted to do more.  And in that one little moment I thought, "we have arrived."

I know that Claire and I still have many years of wandering in the wilderness before we arrive at any kind of promised land.  Maybe the trick to parenting is the same as the trick to surviving in the wilderness as the Lord leads you.  And it's to trust so much in the destination and how great it's going to be that every step forward feels like you are already there even if you'll be finding cornflakes in the nooks and crannies for the next two weeks.

* Book of Mormons (yes, this is actually the correct pluralization despite popular belief) are widely available and if any of you are interested I would be happy to send you one.


  1. Maybe it's more like "wondering" in the desert as each little phase in our life opens new understanding.

    PS Is it really Book of Mormons? Thoughts it was copies of the Book of Mormon.

  2. One of your best posts EVER -- and I have more to think after reading this perspective! Thank you and love ya!