It is a common thing. We are supposed to have our favorites. I am not sure why. With such a large body of material, why do we have to pick out a few favorites, or even a ‘most favorite’? In some senses, it doesn’t seem quite right. Do we have a favorite child? Do we have a favorite cousin? Do we have a favorite anything? I guess the question is more, ‘should we’?
Perhaps it is the world or a weakness tendency in the human race. Another one of those great weaknesses like pride. Really, I guess it just is a manifestation of pride. Usually favorites seem to indicate those things that are most kin to us. They are those things which somehow seem to reflect or speak of us.
When in the whole, aren’t we supposed to take the whole? Take into consideration all? Preferences seem okay, but they are the easy route. Is this another reason we don’t like missionary work? We are forced to work with those people who are not our favorites? Or we are afraid we won’t be a favorite anymore? Who knows.
Through the years, I have had one scripture which seems to reflect my feelings and passion of life.
One night as I spent the evening in the home of Terry McCombs, he gave me a scripture to think about before I retired for the evening.
“Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessings which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.” (D&C 67:3)
As I laid there in the old comfortable bed, I read this scripture. There happened to be a set of scriptures on the bedside and I did not have my own. I could read it and think about it. It really hit me pretty hard. A whole host of blessings which I wanted to receive, but due to fears I was not receiving. Terry had given this scripture to me for a particular reason and fear with which I was faced. I just could not seem to let go of it.
Somehow I felt there must be an answer to this scripture. I did not know how to overcome fear. I did not know how to receive. I did not know a whole lot of things. I still don’t.
Then somewhere around 2 or 3 AM I stumbled upon this scripture. Somehow in nearly all instances, it still speaks to me. When asked my favorite scripture, I almost just as quickly give the reference. In the mission field, the scripture took a whole new meaning. It applied to others and the work with which I was employed. Just a couple of weeks ago Brad Hales asked me my favorite scripture. I gave it to him just as quickly. While I am sure he must have heard it dozens of times, it meant nothing to him, no recollection whatsoever. Yet it has somehow always been a bedrock for me. It is somewhat out of context, but still very applicable.
“Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them. But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day. Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever.” (Alma 26:6-8)
In the mission it was not to get baptisms or converts, but to put them in connection with and into the hands of the Lord of the harvest. All people. Member or not. To help them make that connection.
In my personal life, despite all the storms and whirlwinds that may come, God will uphold and protect those who are faithful. I thought of this scripture numerous times with the episode with Mom. I thought of it with adversaries in all things. Those who are truly converted will not be beaten or harrowed. They are gathered to their place and singing to God. Reminds me of “Guide us, O Thou Great Jehovah.”
“When the earth begins to tremble, bid our fearful hearts be still. When thy judgments spread destruction, keep us safe on Zion’s hill. Singing praises, singing praises, songs of glory unto thee, unto thee. Songs of glory unto thee.”
May we all be more like this. Less worrying, less fearful, more buoyant and pressing forward despite all odds.