Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Inspirations January 17, 2010

My oldest, M, had a big day today. It was her first time giving a short talk in our main church meeting (aka, Sacrament Meeting). She wasn't supposed to speak until next Sunday, but due to an accident with another of the youth, they swapped weeks to give the other girl time to recover.

I wanted to share her talk today. It's short, simple, and important. The topic was on testimonies and scripture. After going a few rounds the last several days of "whaddya wanna talk about?" coupled with "I don't know...", I finally asked M think of her favorite scripture stories. To my surprise she brought up the story of Elijah and the widow woman. We discussed it a few minutes, I got an idea of what she wanted to say, and put together her talk.

So keep in mind that though I may be the author, I tried to write it as a very young woman might.

In a land called Zarephath the prophet Elijah came to a widow woman, under the direction of the Lord. When he met her, Elijah asked the woman for a little water in a vessel

As she went to fetch it Elijah called out to her and asked if she could bring him a little bread. The woman, who I think felt bad to say this, told Elijah she had only a little bit of meal and oil left. She had planned to make it for herself and her son, knowing it would most likely be the last thing they would eat. She knew they would starve to death after this last, tiny meal.

But Elijah said to her in 1 Kings 17:13-14 - "Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make the thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fall, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth."

Let's stop for a moment to think about what we would do if this happened to us. I wonder if she knew Elijah was a prophet, or if she thought she was just helping a stranger. Either way, what would you do if you had only enough food left in the house to make one last meal? What if you had no way of getting any other food, and someone came to your door asking for some bread, or soup, or just a bowl of cereal? And what if he promised you that if you would share this little bit of your last meal with him, that you would be blessed with enough to eat until a way of getting more food should come?

The widow woman had great faith, or at least enough faith and compassion to do as Elijah asked. His promise was fulfilled. As we read in verse 16, "And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah."

We can learn so much from the stories in the scriptures, stories that can help us to build our own testimonies. From this story I learned I first have to have faith. Even if I don't always understand why, I need to have faith the prophet or the bishop or my Young Women's leader is telling me to do or not to do something for a really good reason.

Then I have to act on that faith. I have to believe that what I've been told will bring me blessings. I have to remember what I was taught during times I'm being tempted, or when doing the right thing feels like the hardest thing in the world to do.

When I have this faith, and then act on it, then I can build a firm testimony. It will be strong, and will help me to build and ever bigger testimony when harder things come my way.

I hope we can all remember the lesson the widow woman teaches us, and will look in the scriptures for other examples of how to help build our testimonies. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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