Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Manna Part 2

As I was thinking about the miracle of manna I discovered that the symbolism can go even deeper. As I study and ponder the scriptures, a miracle can occur within me.  Perhaps that miracle will be a mighty change of heart or perhaps an increase in charity.  Whatever it is, the miracle that happened each week on the Sabbath for the children of Israel can happen for each of us too.  I believe that the focus on Sabbath day activities and our observance of it, can be the miracle in our lives.  We have recently been instructed by the Quorum of the Twelve through our local leaders that observance of the Sabbath will bring us closer to the Savior.  What a miracle to feel His love more deeply and understand His atonement better!  Apparently, our miracles aren't so different from those of ancient Israel.  Each Sabbath can be a miracle!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


This week I taught a lesson about the Lord providing Manna to the children of Israel.  I learned some very interesting things as I prepared to teach this lesson.  As with most things, the Lord gives us principles through symbolism.  Manna was to physically feed the people each day.  He could easily have given it once or twice a week but instead gave it every day except the Sabbath.

I learned several things.  First of all, the Lord provided manna every day because he wanted the children of Israel to remember Him every single day.  He wanted them to see His hand in their daily lives by providing for the physical needs.

Secondly, He gave an example of just how important the Sabbath is by providing a miracle each seventh day.  They couldn't gather more than they would use in a day or it would become wormy and stinky.  But, on the sixth day, they were instructed to gather and prepare enough to be used for two days.  How many people didn't listen?  I wonder.  But, I'll bet it only took one time going hungry before they followed the counsel of their prophet, Moses.  The manna never went bad on the Sabbath.

Thirdly, we each need spiritual sustenance each and every day.  Wasn't the miracle of the manna appearing every day a way for the Lord to show us that we need Him every day as well?  We need to immerse ourselves in the scriptures and give thanks through prayer each day.  One day a week is not enough! Going to church on Sunday is wonderful and uplifting and I enjoy it very much.  But I've learned over the years that it is not enough.  I told the youth that this concept reminds me very much of the 10 virgins parable.  Drops are added to our supply each time we pray, read or ponder the scriptures.  I would be in tough shape if the only drops I added were on Sundays.

The following is a quote by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the quorum of the twelve apostles.

“By providing a daily sustenance, one day at a time, Jehovah was trying to teach faith to a nation that over a period of some 400 years had lost much of the faith of their fathers. He was teaching them to trust Him, to ‘look unto [Him] in every thought; doubt not, fear not’ (D&C 6:36). He was providing enough for one day at a time. Except for the sixth day, they could not store manna for use in any succeeding day or days. In essence, the children of Israel had to walk with Him today and trust that He would grant a sufficient amount of food for the next day on the next day, and so on. In that way He could never be too far from their minds and hearts.” 

I love the insights I received as I studied these things on Tuesday night. Seminary has indeed blessed my life more than I could ever imagined.  If people only knew just how blessed they would be and how much they would learn by fulfilling this calling, they would line up outside the bishop's door to volunteer.  Yes, it is held early in the morning.  I was never a morning person.  It took me a couple of years to become a morning person.  Yes, it requires significant study.  But, shouldn't we be studying every day anyway?  I don't spend hours in preparing a lesson.  Yes, sometimes the teenagers ask questions that I may not be able to answer.  I will miss being with the youth each day once I am released.  But, I will cherish the many years I have had the privilege of doing this.  I don't know how much I bless the lives of my students, but they bless mine and I love them!