11.16.2009

"Noah Moments are moments when you stop and see something for what it truly is and the course it is taking you down." -Brother Jack Marshall

I was only able to attend one of the two days of institute last week, but we talked about something I found really important and it was a great lesson.

In my Book of Mormon class, we are in Mosiah right now. Mosiah is probably one of my favorite book...well, the entire Book of Mormon is my favorite book. But Mosiah has so many good teachings to offer and lessons that are so prevalent to these days. In this particular lesson, we were studying Abinadi's teachings to King Noah and the priests.

Brother Marshall first talked about the difference between precepts and values. Precepts are cerebral, while values are internal. Precepts are the concepts you teach and you either believe it or you don't. Values are the teachings and knowledge internalized and residual within you. You know and can testify these values to be true. Values are the beliefs from which you will never back down. He talked about how if you have problems of the gospel, it is not a problem you have with something specific. It can be boiled down to a simple, yet all encompassing question: "What think ye of Christ?" Since Christ is the center of the gospel, our problems with teachings have more to do with our testimony of Him and His teachings than a little detail or concept.

He then talked about when the Lamanites attack Noah's city after Abinadi's death and at Noah's command, the men leave their wives and children behind and run to the forest. When they stop and realize what they have done, they say they are going to go back, but Noah commands them to stay. Pause: This is a Noah Moment. The people finally realized that Noah was not the best thing since sliced bread. They thought that he was great because he allowed sin and pleasure to creep in. They saw something for what it really was and that they could only be truly happy in keeping the commandments. Going back to the story, the people were angry with him and Noah suffered death by fire as Abinadi did.

I loved Brother Marshall's analogies and applications to real life. I hope that I never have to experience Noah moment as painful as those people had to, but as I've been at school, it's been amazing to see how strong my testimony has to be and the perspective I've gained about Satan's deceptiveness to make the worldly things seem alluring. I'm so glad for the opportunities I have had to internalize the essential values of the Gospel and the constant experiences that strengthen these values.

You know you are a true Relief Society sister when you can't even give a ten minute visiting teaching message without crying. Last night before Ward Prayer, I talked to the amazing girls I visit teach about President Uchtdorf's talk, "The Love of God" and how much I love this talk along with some of my favorite lines in one of my favorite Primary Songs, "Where Love Is"...

"Where love is, there God is also and with Him, we want to be. Show us the way and guide us tenderly that we may dwell with Him eternally."

I hope I can always be where love and God are and eventually return to live with my family and Him eternally. Remember how much God loves you and desires you to draw near to him!

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