Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Beginning To Feel Better

Well something is working because I am beginning to feel better. I am taking some medicine which I dislike but it is most likely helping. We've had wonderful sunshine the last two days and I think that is helping as well. I forced myself to take a short walk yesterday in order to get myself moving and this morning I swam for 20 minutes. OK it was more like bobbing for 20 minutes but I wanted to see if it would help. If my fever doesn't come back this evening, I will know if I am really getting better. I am quite hopeful.

Yesterday I went to an art exhibit by Arnold Friberg. A friend recommended it highly and the last day of the exhibit is Saturday so I forced myself out the door despite my stamina issues. I was deeply touched by the enormity of Mr. Friberg's talent. The thing that struck me more than anything else was the dedication he had to developing his craft. The endless display of his work beginning with sketches when he was seven years old showed he not only had a great desire to be an artist, but he spent a lifetime improving his talent. It was clearly evident to me that this artist drew and painted constantly. As I went around the gallery, I thought about the nature of developing one's gifts and the importance of practicing and learning. Mr. Friberg was a master at his craft. One of the narratives about his work said something to the effect that he wanted to use his talent to serve others. I loved that.  He not only painted the amazing Prayer at Valley Forge, which I bought a copy of, but some of my all time favorite Book of Mormon paintings as well. It was surely time well spent.

I considered what I might be able to do to develop my interests. I thought about writing. I decided that I need to write everyday. As I thought about it I wondered what I could write about. While reading my scriptures this morning, I decided I could practice my writing by leaving a few words about the scriptures I read each morning. I generally ponder them throughout the day so why not? I love the scriptures and that is what is in my heart so that's what I will write about. Mr. Friberg has inspired me.

This morning I read Alma 48 & 49. I am in 'the war chapters." Hmmm. There is a lot to learn from Alma 49:20.

"Thus they were prepared, yea, a body of their strongest men, with their swords and their slings, to smite down all who should attempt to come into their place of security by the place of entrance; and thus were they prepared to defend themselves against the Lamanites."

I certainly don't have time today to go into the background of the battle that was taking place in these scriptures but I can liken this scripture to my life. I fight battles all the time. Sometimes it is the daily battle to keep the elements of some of the degrading nature the media offers me out of my home. Sometimes it is a battle to remember that life is short and I am here to learn and grow and serve. The Nephites referred to in vs. 20 were "prepared" to "smite down all who should attempt to come into their place of security." They were prepared. They knew it was a battle. They knew it would require diligence and preparation and the sheer will to fight the enemy. Love it. We are much the same. We need to know
  1. Who is the enemy?
  2. Why do they want to destroy us?
  3. What are their fighting tactics?
  4. How can I defend myself?
  5. Why should I bother fighting?
  6. How do I obtain victory?
Their leader was none other than Captain Moroni. And who doesn't love Captain Moroni?

"And thus he was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians. And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery; Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people. Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood...Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni,  behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men." Alma 48: 1-13,17 Friberg painted him too. 
Captain Moroni by Arnold Friberg

This scripture tells about the flag Moroni is holding: "And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah. And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole. And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church."Alma 46:11-14
The best part of reading the scriptures is the opportunity to ponder them. There's so much to ponder today. :)

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