When reading through chapters of scripture there are often little gems that strike you at certain times. Right now, the passage in Jarom stood out to me where he expressed in his writing that “the word of the lord was verified” (Jarom 1:9). It was timely as I looked at the current trials that we are facing around the world. Sometimes our lives feel like there is no one there to provide the promised blessings. It appears that we are promised things that are not coming to pass. However, if we start to pause and truly reflect we are able to more aptly see the hand of God in our lives.
Over these past couple of weeks, there has been a lot of news and information that has spread that could easily strike fear in us. It can easily cause us to panic. It has done this for many as we recognize the shelves that are vacant of many food staples. There are great concerns over the economy, the health of individuals, and the preparedness of communities during this pandemic. Jarom’s words gave me comfort though.
I know that God is in charge. These past few weeks have actually been a great blessing to me and my family. We have grown a lot closer over this period of time. I have been personally humbled and given to great reflection in my own life and what I am doing. It is hard watching churches, schools, temples, and businesses close their doors or do things differently, but the change of pace has blessed us.
This past Sunday, we held our own sacrament meeting at home along with many of our fellow saints. Seeing people’s stories and comments on social media have been wonderful. Presiding over our family’s sacrament meeting has been a wonderful blessing for me as a father. I am grateful for this opportunity. The family is indeed the central unit in God’s plan. We are experiencing great prosperity in the land.
We are not wealthy as to the things of this world. We are seeing struggles in our own business pursuits at this time. We are concerned for friends, family, and local businesses that we frequent and how they will fare financially during this recession. Things are not likely to bounce back in a rapid way, but they will likely come back in due time. Many will struggle, but I know as we continue to exercise faith in God and remain obedient to His commandments then we will prosper in the land.
God has given us covenants. In ancient Israel, those covenants were to the people in relation to the land of Jerusalem. To Lehi and his posterity, the covenant was given in relation to the American continent. I believe that the modern-day covenant is to us wherever we may live around this world. The prophets have told us that Zion is wherever God’s people dwell. Now that we dwell all around the world we carry this covenant with us wherever we are. God desires to bless us.
One of the key things that we need to understand as we look to God’s word being verified is to what manner it will indeed be verified. Prosperity can come in many different ways. He certainly desires our happiness while allowing our agency. He will consecrate our afflictions for our gain (see 2 Nephi 1:2). As we endure and work through the trials that we face in this life we will be able to grow from them and become better.
Very few were more capable about talking about the veracity of our afflictions being consecrated than Elder Neal A. Maxwell. Having suffered through cancer for many years while in the full-time service of God as one of His chosen apostles, he spoke often of the consecration of performance. In 2002 he shared with us that “ultimate consecration is the yielding up of oneself to God.” (Consecrate Thy Performance, Ensign, May 2002). It is one thing to offer tithes and offerings, but it is another to give up ourselves to His service no matter the price. Often all that is required of us is a small portion of our time.
As we learn to work through the challenges that we face our faith in God grows. As our faith grows we become partakers of His heavenly gift and receive grace for grace. Through this grace, we are able to overcome these challenges and not just by the passing of time, but by becoming something greater because of them. This is the path to perfection. This is the ultimate prosperity. It is through experiencing this spiritual prosperity that “the word of the Lord [is] verified” (Jarom 1:9).