For those that are not aware, I am a Christian and I was asked to speak about some of my beliefs in our last Sunday meeting (10/29/17). My topic was about following the modern day prophet. The modern day prophet gives us instructions for how we should best live our lives in preparation for the return of the Savior Jesus Christ and in living with Him again.
As I prepared for my address, the following scene came into my mind of the Lord sitting at a table with an intricate, and vibrantly colored tapestry before Him and we (everyone coming to the earth) were all a part of it.
I hope that this story...allegory...analogy, maybe? (not quite sure what to call it) - can convey the importance of how much the Lord loves to use each of us in our own unique and perfect way to further His plans for His coming. And just how vital it is to stay close to Him and to follow the counsel of our wise modern day prophet.
I see the words of our prophet keeping us within the confines of the strait and narrow path, and the individual promptings spoken to each of us by His Spirit, as the individual footpath that will be slightly different from those around us based upon our individual gifts, talents, traits, and weaknesses.
In my imagination, I see a massive tapestry spanning from the time of Adam and Eve until the end of the world. It is vibrant in all of its many colors and intricate in its minute details. Each one of us that are born to this earth are as a different colored thread to be of use to our Master Weaver. Based upon our willingness, we are able to be used to create magnificent scenery and events upon this tapestry. In this work of art, each of our varying colors is precisely what allows the Master to be able to weave such glorious work. How drab and dull it would be if we all felt, thought, acted, and performed the exact same functions as if we all were the same color! The glory of God is truly made manifest by our distinct individuality as we magnify His Light through our thoughts and actions and as we allow ourselves to be of use to Him in His great masterpiece. In this way, we ALL become ONE with Him.
I believe that following the Prophet and the commandments is analogous to the table where all the beautiful colors of thread are neatly and orderly kept, ever ready for the Master to employ. Should one not be listening, pondering, and following the counsel of our modern-day prophet as well as the Holy Ghost, (keeping the commandments), it as if he/she (the thread) has fallen off that table and thus, will not be easily accessible to the hand of the Weaver. The Master may need to pause for a moment to look for the particular color he wishes to use, or ask others to find the thread, and if not found soon enough, He will use another color in its place because His work must unceasingly go on. This in no way harms His magnificent work, but the colored thread is not able to reach its full potential in being used by the Master in taking its rightful place in His work.
But never fear! The incredible beauty and grace of our Master’s plan is that the colored thread can always be recovered by repenting and returning to the Master’s table to be ready for use again! He will employ us as much as we are willing! Though we may miss out on a chance to be in one part of His masterpiece, He will always find a meaningful and honorable place for us when we return to His table of thread.
Another important aspect of this artwork, is that the thread is best used when it focuses on its own path and attunes itself to listening to the Master’s voice. It need not concern itself on how other threads and colors are being employed in the tapestry. This is similar to judging others. Sometimes the culture of our church is to judge others that do things in a different way than how we interpret the Lord’s word to us individually. Or on the other hand, we are self-conscious and worry about how others will perceive and judge us should we behave in a way that is not culturally the norm within the church. Each one of us has our own individual talents and gifts that are best expressed and utilized as we follow the Spirit individually.
How silly it would be for the thread, who only sees the immediate surrounding tapestry to tell the Master Weaver, who sees the entire work, that another thread should be used in the way the thread thinks is best, contrary to how the Master is using that color.
Sometimes a thread may be unsure of what is being created with it and how the Master is using it. The path He leads us on is not always comfortable and most assuredly takes us out of our comfort zone. At times, it may even be painful as we are stretched until it feels as if we might break.
As we listen to the words of our prophet, and combine it with trusting the whisperings of the Spirit, we will be led on our own individual paths that create the most beautiful and perfect artwork as He combines all of us together to create a stunning symphony of colors interwoven to become ONE.
This quote is from M. Russell Ballard taken from a conference talk in 1993, called "Strength in Counsel".
“When we act in a united effort, we create spiritual synergism, which is increased effectiveness or achievement as a result of combined action or cooperation, the result of which is greater than the sum of the individual parts” (“Strength in Counsel,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 76–77).
As we are in the Last Days, preparing for the return of our Savior, we can best prepare for Him as we each continue to stay focused on the same goals, and on performing each of our individual parts as guided by the Spirit’s counsel.
This brings to mind the miracle of Peter walking on the water. As long as he focused on the Savior and the direction he needed to go, he was part of a miracle and he did not sink! However, as he was distracted, he could not stay afloat, and without the Savior would have been lost completely.
I have found that for me personally, taking my eyes off the Savior could possibly mean that I am looking to see what others are doing, perhaps even judging them, trying to decide if they are doing what I think they are SUPPOSED to be doing (according to my narrow, and unknowledgeable perception). OR...I may get distracted because I am more interested in seeing if others are judging ME.
It doesn’t matter what reason we end up taking our eyes off the Savior, Satan will do anything in his power to see that happen. His desire is always to divide and conquer, so that we will be lost completely.
The following quote is from Thomas S. Monson, our current modern day prophet, taken from this address entitled "Keep the Commandments" in October 2015.
"We read in 1 Corinthians: “There are … so many kinds of voices in the world.” We are surrounded by persuasive voices, beguiling voices, belittling voices, sophisticated voices, and confusing voices. I might add that these are loud voices. I admonish you to turn the volume down and to be influenced instead by that still, small voice which will guide you to safety. Remember that one with authority placed his hands on your head after you were baptized, confirming you a member of the Church and saying, “Receive the Holy Ghost.” Open your hearts, even your very souls, to the sound of that special voice which testifies of truth. As the prophet Isaiah promised, “Thine ears shall hear a word … , saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.” May we ever be in tune, that we might hear this comforting, guiding voice which will keep us safe."
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