Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lessons Learned From Women in the Scriptures, A Tribute on Mothers Day

So tomorrow is Mother's Day and I was asked to speak in Church on the different lessons that can be learned from the women in scriptures. The following is my talk, I find it kind of funny as I am posting it in my blog and I took out a lot of it from some other persons blog that I found.




This past year while at school my wards Relief Society was privileged to have Sherri Dew come and speak to us for Enrichment night. While talking to us she asked us to make a list of things that we think that we deal with that she could never understand, things that we think that her and her generation never had to deal with. While talking with her we realized that though she may not have dealt with the same things that we did, she had many similar experiences and that we could learn from her. I find that at times I forget that there are others that I can learn from too. In the scriptures there were many experiences that I can learn from, particularly those of the woman in the scriptures.

Ruth and Hannah are two scriptural women whose lives took an unexpected direction. Ruth did not expect that her husband would die, and Hannah did not expect to be unable to bear children after she was married. Both Ruth and Hannah had great faith. We are told in Hebrews 11 that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” These righteous women could not see what the future held; yet they were faithful to the Lord and to the covenants they made.

It is interesting to note that Hannah’s story begins with a cry of distress and sorrow to the Lord and ends with a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. We do not always have the option of choosing our situations in life, but we can respond with faith and trust in the Savior.

We are told in 1 Nephi 7:12 “that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore. Let us be faithful in him.” And then continuing on to verse 13 he says “and if it so be that we are faithful to him, we shall obtain the land of promise.”

Hannah and Ruth possessed not only great faith but also hope. We learn from Mormon in Moroni 7:42 that “if a man have faith he must have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.”

Ruth looked to the Lord with hope for her future. When she lost her husband, she experienced the feelings of loneliness that her mother-in-law, Naomi, had borne when her own husband had died. Ruth’s compassion and faithfulness to Naomi are demonstrated in some of the most beautiful words ever uttered: “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” Ruth loved the Lord, and her faith and hope in Him were strong. Neither she nor Hannah gave up their hope. Rather it sustained them in their trials.

When the life circumstances of these women were changed, they had hope that the Lord would provide guidance and strength. We too can hope that the Lord will provide guidance and strength.

These two women possessed not only the qualities of faith and hope but also devotion and sacrifice. These Christlike qualities are among the fruits of charity. Hannah and Ruth loved the Lord, and they loved His children. They were willing to put their own desires and futures aside to what was right. Each of these women made a commitment to the Lord based on her faith and her hope in His goodness and mercy.

Although Hannah consecrated her son, Samuel, to the Lord, she continued to demonstrate great love and dedication to him, as shown by her yearly visits to the temple: “His mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifices.”

In a small way, mothers all over the world feel what Hannah must have felt as they prepare their sons and daughters to serve missions. Hannah’s love of the Lord and love of her son are also poignant reminders of God’s love for his children.

Like Ruth and Hannah, all of us will experience adversity. We may not always understand the Lord’s design for our lives, but we must remember that we are never alone. He is ever with us, and He promises us, “Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.”

In the scriptures we find several examples of virtuous women.

Esther: She influenced a king and saved her people. We can tell Esther was a woman of faith and virtue by her actions. When called upon to save her people, she was obedient even though it could have cost her, her life. She moved out in faith and sought the Lord in prayer and fasting. Ester’s faith saved the Jewish people.

Mary: Mary, the mother of Jesus, was another virtuous woman. 1 Nephi 3:55 says she was “a virgin most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.” She trusted in God and was willing to act upon her faith. In Luke 1:38, we see her faith in action as she submits to the plan and purpose of God, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word.”

Mothers: In the Book of Mormon we find 2,000 virtuous women. They are nameless, known only as the mothers of the 2,000 stripling warriors. These women had built their lives upon the same foundation as the virtuous woman of Proverbs. Their sons show forth the influence of a virtuous mother.

At the end of the night Sister Dew came around and gave each one of us a hug. I do believe that if we use the opportunity to learn from the women in the scriptures they too will greet us with hugs in the kingdom of Heaven.

I am grateful for the pattern of faith, hope, and charity that is shown to me in the lives of righteous women in the scriptures. I am also grateful for my mother, who trusts in the Lord and leans not unto her own understanding. I believe that what was said of Ruth could be said of my mother and the many others who navigate life’s challenges with faith and trust in the Lord: “The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord…under whose wings thou art come to trust.”

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