Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scripture Guys - Pioneers

Sometimes when I am reading the scriptures, I find myself so relaxed.....that I wake up with an embarrassed start. But sometimes, and not often, they seem to open up, and I can almost drop into a scene. Today Brother Alstrom caught me coming up for air, and called on me. I had heard him speaking, asking a question and when he called on me, all that I could do is to answer with a stupid 'what?'. For me there is no quick thinking at such a time. I told him that I had been reading ahead, and he had me read some more, which was kind. I suppose he could have had me write on the board or stay after class or something.

What got my attention was in D&C 136, where the Saints are being instructed about going west.
  • They were going to be organized in companies of 100, 50, and 10 with captains of each, and under the direction of the Twelve. So far so good, but think about that for a few minutes. As I looked around our class, I thought, and I apologize for this mean spirited and spiteful thought, but I thought Yikes! I don't know if there are very many that I would want to follow on a camp out, yet alone a trek across the Continent. Yes, I know I am a sinful, faithless judger, but what I'm trying to say here is that many of them must have had the same kind of feelings, but they had a great amount of faith, and went forward with it.
  • Verse 7:" ......then choose out a sufficient number of able-bodied and expert men, to take teams, seeds, and farming utensils, to go as pioneers to prepare for putting in spring crops." No Walmarts, no Safeway.... no nothing. Send out some able guys and have them build instant farms and get a crop in so that there is something to eat. Also, if you are one of the able guys - yikes! Not only do you have to go clear across the country with a wagon, but as soon as you get there, start clearing land and plowing up the sage and greasewood ASAP and get that wheat in the ground. And while you are at it, start digging ditches and diverting water to water those crops. Everything ultimately depends on the Lord, but as one of the 'able-bodied men', I would think that a lot would rest on them as well. Also, these guys came from a place there it rained all the time. Irrigation would have to be pretty new to them. An amazing story tucked into a verse.
  • Verse 8: "Let each company abear an equal proportion, according to the dividend of their property, in taking the poor, the bwidows, the cfatherless, and the families of those who have gone into the army, that the cries of the widow and the dfatherless come not up into the ears of the Lord against this people." Don't forget that most of the able bodied men had gone into the Army, and were marching to Mexico. Quite few more were being sent on ahead to clear, dig, plant and prepare. And still they made sure that the widows and fatherless had someone looking out for them. Home teaching on steroids
Well, there is a lot more there. Section 136 is so condensed - it's like an outline that could be fleshed out to make a book. It was a hard time to be alive, and I think this might have been hard doctrine, and hard council to accept. But they did, most of them anyway. And they crossed the prairies, and the mountains and made the desert bloom like a rose.

1 comment:

Annie of Blue Gables said...

More! I love your stories. Thanks for that. I love hearing your take on the scriptures. Likening it unto yourself, and me.
I love you, Dear Friend. You are the best <3
~a