It's a stormy season. We are passengers in ships on the sea of life, and the weather is getting very bad. The wind is strong and some of the storms are fierce. The sea is disturbed with everything from choppy turbulence to valleys and peaks of huge, terrifying waves. Many ships have lost their way, and some have been destroyed. Anxiety, fear, panic, contention and anger occupy crews and passengers. Some people drown in their attempts to abandon ship.
There is a way to be safe while the storms rage. I was reminded of it as I read my scriptures this morning. As I read from chapter 6 of Ether in the Book of Mormon, I felt spiritual impressions that the verses represented something beyond what was printed.
Briefly, this part of Ether tells the story of ancient families and friends who have built eight water-tight barges in which to travel across the ocean to a promised land (America). The Lord has directed them, kind of like the story of Noah and the ark. Part of the story involves a man referred to as the "brother of Jared" inquiring of the Lord about what they should do for light in the barges, as they will have none. He brings 16 small stones to the place where he has prayed for help and asks the Lord to touch each one, lighting them. God does so, and Jared sees His finger doing this. A meeting with the premortal Christ folllows. Following this, two stones are placed in each barge. There are also 2 holes which can be unplugged for air. The ships depart, and meet with heavy winds and turbulance on the seas. At times they are buried in the water. After many, many days they reach the promised land. My account here is woefully brief; if you are unfamiliar with this, please go to https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether?lang=eng to read the full account.
As I read Ether 6:6, I felt impressed that the waves encountered in their journey might be compared to the waves of depression, despondency, grief, fear, anxiety, helplessness, loneliness, and hopelessness that many of us feel from time to time. They also represent our struggles and temptations. If we are in a Jaredite barge, figuratively speaking, we can ride out these storms and be safe.
The spiritual barge I'm thinking of is also water-tight. It is sealed shut through covenants we make with God. If we make and keep these covenants with Him, including the sealing covenants of the temple, we will be storm proof. We will be sealed His, and the storms of life will have no power to destroy us. The journey will not be easy, but we will be able to reach our destination, our home with God.
We will not travel in darkness. We will have the light of revelation through the Holy Ghost, the scriptures and prophets. They will show us the way.
We will not travel alone. We will have like-minded companions of family and friends if we stay close to them and church. We will also have music!
I've been pondering this experience all day. It has been very comforting to me.