Today’s Reading: Ether 3
Last week I finished reading the Book of Mormon, and as such, I recently read the Book of Ether contained within it. Chapters 2 and 3 particularly touched me this time around, and I’m so happy I am able to share some thoughts on them with you, today.
In chapter 2, Ether is conversing with the Lord about the ships he has been building to cross the ocean, and in verse 22 he asks the Lord, “Behold, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?”
And the Lord’s response to it all is this, “What will ye that I should do?”
How many times has this happened in our lives? We come to the Lord with a decision or a problem, and ask Him to make the decision or solve the problem for us. We expect Him to do the work, and plainly tell us what needs to be done. But the Lord, in His wisdom, does not always give us the answer right away.
Because sometimes you have to step into the dark before the Lord lights the way.
And that’s the way it should be. That is the way we learn.
President Boyd K. Packer had an experience when he had to learn this principle:
“Shortly after I was called as a General Authority, I went to Elder Harold B. Lee for counsel. He listened very carefully to my problem and suggested that I see President David O. McKay. President McKay counseled me as to the direction I should go. I was very willing to be obedient but saw no way possible for me to do as he counseled me to do.
“I returned to Elder Lee and told him that I saw no way to move in the direction I was counseled to go. He said, ‘The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning.’ I replied that I would like to see at least a step or two ahead. Then came the lesson of a lifetime: ‘You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.’ Then he quoted these 18 words from the Book of Mormon:
“‘Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith’” (Ether 12:6).”
Indeed, sometimes we do have to step into the darkness. Sometimes we have to make the decision. Sometimes we have to solve the problem.
But in the end? In the end we have gained knowledge beyond compare. We become a little bit wiser with each decision made.
And we can not forget the fact that, in Ether chapter 3, after the Brother of Jared solved his own problem, and then took it to the Lord, he was blessed with the ability to see and talk to God, face to face. The Lord had placed His trust in the Brother of Jared, and the Brother of Jared then placed His faith in the Lord, and because of that faith, “[He] hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood.” (v9).
Sometimes we do not see until after we take that step, in faith.
But I testify that when we do see, it will be miraculous.