I didn’t intend to have a theme going this week. But recently, as I read the story of the Lord leading Jared, his brother, and their families and friends across an ocean to a promised land, I was reminded that this is a parable of sorts—a journey that represents life. And I noticed something I hadn’t before even though I’ve read this story numerous times.
The account in the Book of Mormon says:
[W]hen they had [made preparations] they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God. …—Ether 6:4, 6, 7, 9, 12
And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.
And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, … therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters. …
And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord. …
And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.
This group had built eight barges to cross the ocean. I find it a miracle that these barges stayed together during an ocean crossing such that they reached the same destination at the same time. They could easily have been scattered to the winds over the course of their voyage, which took nearly a year, and arrive large distances apart. But as they remained devoted to the Lord, He watched over them and kept them together.
Part of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the uniting of families eternally in temples through God’s authority. But a united family isn’t just for the next life. If we have divine help, a family can stay united even though their individual paths aren’t precisely the same. If we endure to the end in this condition, then we will arrive at that distant shore still together, shedding joyful tears as we see the Lord’s hand in it all. Experiencing such a scene is my hope for my family.
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