Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Learning to Walk: A Lesson on God's Love

I recently read Linda K.  Burton's talk from the most recent LDS General Conference.  She compared our spiritual growth to the parable of the Ten Virgins.  Our testimonies grow "drop-by-drop" with each sincere prayer, each time we study the scriptures intently, and so on.  Sister Burton said:

President Spencer W. Kimball helped clarify why the five “wise” young women could not share the oil in their lamps with those who were “foolish” when he said: “Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions … —these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps.”

As I read through her words, I kept thinking of Elijah. At the time he was just learning to walk. He'd take several steps in a row and then drop down and start crawling. When he was in a walking mood, we would all gather around to cheer him on and encourage him.

Of course, we didn't scold him when he decided to crawl. We simple waited patiently until he was ready to try again.

I imagine our Heavenly Father is like that with us. He knows what steps we need to take to become like Him. They are those things that fill our lamps with oil one drop at a time. He rejoices when we take our faltering, clumsy steps in His direction.

When we stumble and drop down on all fours to start crawling again, He waits patiently until we are ready to try walking with Him again. He rejoices with us in our progress and loves us in our imperfection.

And how grateful I am for that!

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