Salt and The Gift of the Holy Ghost

Salt_shaker_on_white_background

How would you describe the taste of salt to someone who had never tasted salt? For most of us, this seemed impossible.*

In a talk he gave to new mission presidents, Elder Boyd K. Packer likened the difficulty of describing the taste of salt to the difficulty of describing exactly he knew that God lived to a man who sat next to him an a flight. Even though it is difficult to describe explain in words alone, we can and do know through the gift of the Holy Ghost that God lives and loves us.

In class we were each were given a scripture to read and share what the scripture taught us about the Holy Ghost: (John 14:26, Alma 32:28, 1 Corinthians 2:9-14, 1 Nephi 10:19, Alma 5:45-46, Moroni 10:3-5, D&C 11:12-14.) What do you see in these scriptures that teach you how the Holy Ghost helps us learn? Are there promises from the Savior? What are our responsibilities?

* One person in our class had actually written a paper describing the flavor of salt as slightly bitter, somewhat savory, etc.

Remember, Remember – Kedging, A Parable

Have you ever been sailing? If you have, you might have had an experience like my husband did many years ago. He and his brother and their wives went sailing in Florida. They decided to take a shortcut which resulted in their going getting stuck in the middle of the harbor. They used a kedging technique, so that when the tide rose they were able to get their keel unstuck from the ground.

According to wikipedia, kedging is a technique for moving or turning a ship using a relatively light anchor. Kedging can also be a method used to move a sailing ship against the wind or out from a dead calm.

Basically, kedging involves a small anchor attached to a rope and secured to the main vessel, a ship or sailboat. Another smaller vessel, a dingy for example, then takes the anchor away from the ship and is dropped onto the sea floor. The main vessel then draws the rope in, pulling itself toward the anchor. To get a better idea, this video shows how the crew of the U.S.S. Constitution escaped the British navy during the Revolutionary War using the kedging technique.

1812 U.S.S. Constitution – Kedging Maneuver

In class, we likened this technique of kedging to last week’s lesson about recognizing the tender mercies of the Lord in our lives – any time we have felt the Lord touch our hearts.

Small Anchor – represents the tender mercies and those sometimes simple experiences we’ve had with the Spirit. This would include the tender mercy experiences we shared last week, points of time where we knew the Lord heard our prayers or indicated his care. It also includes those times when we read the scriptures and feel impressions that touch our heart. It could be during Sacrament meeting, or one of our Sunday classes when the Spirit whispers to our souls. These seemingly small things are like the small kedging anchor that can do so much to help us in our lives.

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things  brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

Alma 37: 6

Small Boat/Dinghy – represents how Jesus Christ has gone before us, showing us the way to live, upon which rock to anchor our souls:

Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor of the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

Ether 12: 4

Rope – represents the Holy Ghost bringing all things to our remembrance. Remembering those tender mercies, those whisperings of the Spirit, that connect us – the ship – to our Savior – the anchor – and the truth of his His Gospel, and His love for each of us personally.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 14: 26

By relying on our ties to the Savior, the seemingly small anchors can do much in getting us through terrible storms (trials), navigating crises of faith, or even the calm of our life. We need to invite the Spirit into our lives and recognize the many tender mercies in our lives. We know how to do this – study scriptures, pray, participate in Church, partake the Sacrament – but we need to do it. Just like the crew of the ship that must haul in the anchor through effort, persistence, and diligence, we must actually act.

But now, behold, they are led about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her; and even as she is, so are they.

Moroni 5:18

Tender Mercies of the Lord

Today we talked about how we can recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives. To start our discussion, we reflected on a series of questions (I would define a tender mercy as ___. One example of a tender mercy is ___. I may not notice a tender mercy if ___. Other thoughts or impressions ___.) As part of our reflection, we watched the following video:

 

The Spirit was strong as many of us shared an experience of when we felt that timely and personal witness of a tender mercy of the Lord in our life. I was impressed how each experience was unique, and yet each time the person who experienced it knew in their heart it was a message of love from their Heavenly Father.

At the end of class, each class member was given a special notebook. Printed inside was Psalm 145:8-10, which reads:

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion;

slow to anger and of great mercy.

The Lord is good to all:

and his tender mercies are over all his works.

All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord

Also printed inside was a list of the names of our class members and their birthdays, no matter where they were. This will help us remember each other and to pray in each other’s behalf.

In addition, the notebook came with a special request: that they look for the tender mercies of the Lord in their lives and use the notebook to write them down. This will bless them with a greater understanding of the Lord’s personal interest in them and will help bring them greater peace and joy even in the face of their challenges.

Thank you for sharing and inviting the Spirit into our class today, my dear friends. I am so pleased to be among you and to have the opportunity to learn together. You, as well as our class members who weren’t there, are in my prayers.

Welcome! It’s A New Year

Today in class we watched a fun video about New Year’s.

After the video we talked about the value (and pitfalls) of looking back over our lives. If we find ourselves weighed down by our circumstances or past regrets, we know that this is not of God. The Lord wants us to be happy and joyful. By turning to the Savior and relying on His atonement, He not only removes the weight of our regrets, but helps us become happy and joyful. (See Alma 36 to see how Alma’s bitterness of regret turned to joy.)

My hope for each of you is that you are all happy.